Mental illnesses are health conditions involving changes in emotion, thinking or behavior (or a combination of these). Mental illnesses are associated with distress and/or problems functioning in social, work or family activities.
Mental illness is common. In a given year:
- nearly one in five (19 percent) U.S. adults experience some form of mental illness
- one in 24 (4.1 percent) has a serious mental illness*
- one in 12 (8.5 percent) has a diagnosable substance use disorder
- Mental illness is treatable. The vast majority of individuals with mental illness continue to function in their daily lives.
involves effective functioning in daily activities resulting in
- Productive activities (work, school, caregiving)
- Healthy relationships
- Ability to adapt to change and cope with adversity
- Mental Illness…
refers collectively to all diagnosable mental disorders — health conditions involving
- Significant changes in thinking, emotion and/or behavior
- Distress and/or problems functioning in social, work or family activities
- Mental health is the foundation for emotions, thinking, communication, learning, resilience and self-esteem.
- Mental health is also key to relationships, personal and emotional well-being and contributing to community or society.
Many people who have a mental illness do not want to talk about it. But mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of! It is a medical condition, just like heart disease or diabetes. And mental health conditions are treatable. We are continually expanding our understanding of how the human brain works, and treatments are available to help people successfully manage mental health conditions.
Mental illness does not discriminate; it can affect anyone regardless of your age, gender, geography, income, social status, race/ethnicity, religion/spirituality, sexual orientation, background or other aspect of cultural identity. While mental illness can occur at any age, three-fourths of all mental illness begins by age 24.
Mental illnesses take many forms. Some are mild and only interfere in limited ways with daily life, such as certain phobias (abnormal fears). Other mental health conditions are so severe that a person may need care in a hospital.