A mental illness is a medical condition that disrupts a person's thinking, feeling, mood, ability to relate to others and daily functioning. Just as diabetes is a disorder of the pancreas, mental illnesses are medical conditions that often result in a diminished capacity for coping with the ordinary demands of life.
Serious mental illnesses include major depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and borderline personality disorder. The good news about mental illness is that recovery is possible.
Mental illnesses can affect persons of any age, race, religion or income. Mental illnesses are not the result of personal weakness, lack of character or poor upbringing. Mental illnesses are treatable. Most people diagnosed with a serious mental illness can experience relief from their symptoms by actively participating in an individual treatment plan.
Learn more about treatment and services that assist individuals in recovery.
Find out more about a specific mental illness:
- Anxiety Disorders
- Autism Spectrum Disorders
- Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADD/ADHD)
- Bipolar Disorder
- Borderline Personality Disorder
- Dissociative Disorders
- Dual Diagnosis: Substance Abuse and Mental Illness
- Eating Disorders
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
- Panic Disorder
- Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
- Schizoaffective Disorder
- Seasonal Affective Disorder
Find out more about conditions sometimes related to mental illness:
- Anosognosia (lack of insight)
- First Episodes of Psychosis
- Sleep Apnea
- Tardive Dyskinesia
Treatment & Services
- Crisis Services
- Complementary Health Approaches
- ECT and Other Brain Stimulation Therapies
- Medications Overview
- Mental Health Professionals
- Psychosocial Treatments
- Treatment Settings
- Fact sheets from the AKA-NAMI partnership (focus on African Americans)
- Finding a Culturally Competent Provider
- What is Early and First-Episode Psychosis?
- Early Psychosis: What’s Going On and What Can You Do?