Mental illness : Causes-Symptoms-Diagnosis-Treatment

 What is Mental illness?

Mental illness is a term that refers to a wide range of mental health conditions — disorders that affect your mood, thoughts, and behavior. Some examples of mental illness are depression, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, eating disorders, and addictive behaviors.

What is Mental illness?
Mental illness

Mental health concerns can occur from time to time. But if a concern is ongoing and causes you a lot of stress, it becomes a mental illness.

Mental illness can make you feel miserable and can cause problems in your daily life. For example, at school or work or in relationships. Most cases of mental illness can be managed with medication and talk therapy (psychotherapy).

  1. Nervous system

  1. Brain

Medical terms

  • Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects however we predict, feel, and act. It conjointly helps verify however we tend to handle stress, relate to others, and create healthy decisions.1 mental state is very important at each stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood.

  • Although the terms area unit typically used interchangeably, poor mental state and psychopathy aren't constant. someone will experience a poor mental state and not be diagnosed with psychopathy. Likewise, someone diagnosed with psychopathy will experience periods of physical, mental, and social well-being.

  • Mental and physical health areas unit equally vital parts of overall health. As an example, depression will increase the danger for several kinds of physical health issues, notably lasting conditions like polygenic disorder, cardiovascular disease, and stroke. Similarly, the presence of chronic conditions will increase the danger for psychopathy.

  • Mental diseases are a unit common within the us. Nearly one in 5 U.S. adults bear a psychopathy (52.9 million in 2020). Mental diseases embrace many various conditions that modify in degree of severity, starting from gentle to moderate to severe. 2 broad classes may be accustomed to describe these conditions: Any psychopathy (AMI) and high psychopathy (SMI). AMI encompasses all recognized mental diseases. SMI could be a smaller and more severe set of AMI. extra data on mental diseases may be found on the NIMH Health Topics Pages.

The data conferred here are from the 2020 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) by the abuse and mental state Services Administration (SAMHSA). For inclusion in NSDUH prevalence estimates, mental diseases embrace people who area unit identifiable presently or among the past year; of ample length to fulfill diagnostic criteria such that among the fourth edition of the Diagnostic and applied mathematics Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV); and, exclude organic process and substance use disorders.

Symptoms Mental illness

Mental illness symptoms can vary depending on the situation and other factors. Symptoms can affect emotions, thoughts, and behaviors.

Examples of signs and symptoms include:

  • Feeling sad or down

  • When someone is confused or has difficulty concentrating, they are thinking in an unclear way.

  • Having too many fears or worries or feeling too much guilt can be a problem.

  • Extreme mood changes of highs and lows

  • Withdrawal from friends and activities

  • If you are feeling tired and have low energy, or if you have trouble sleeping, it might be a sign that something is wrong.

  • If a person has delusions (false beliefs), paranoia (a sense of being watched or monitored constantly), or hallucinations (seeing things that are not there), that person is detached from reality.

  • If somebody is having trouble coping with everyday problems or stress, this is called a stress disorder.

  • Having trouble understanding and relating to situations and people.

  • Problems with alcohol or drug use

  • Making big changes to the way you eat.

  • Sex drive changes

  • Excessive anger, hostility or violence

  • Suicidal thinking

Sometimes people with mental health disorders experience physical symptoms, such as stomach pain, back pain, headaches, or other unexplained aches and pains.

When to see a doctor

If you have any signs or symptoms of a mental illness, see your primary care provider or a mental health professional. Most mental illnesses do not improve on their own and may get worse over time if untreated.

If you have suicidal thoughts

Mental illnesses can lead to thoughts of suicide and self-harm. If you are thinking about harming yourself or have done so in the past, please get help right away.

  • If you are not feeling well, please call 911 or your local emergency number.

  • Call your mental health specialist.

  • If you are feeling suicidal, you should call a suicide hotline. In the U.S., the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255). You can also use their webchat on

  • If you have any questions, talk to your primary care provider.

  • Talk to a close friend or loved one.

  • Talk to a minister or spiritual leader from your faith community.

Suicidal thinking doesn't go away on its own - so get help.

Helping a loved one

If you are concerned about your loved one's mental health, have an open and honest conversation with them. You may not be able to make them get professional care, but you can offer encouragement and support. You can also help your loved one find a qualified mental health provider. To have your artwork professionally done, make an appointment. You may even be able to visit the studio yourself.

If your loved one has harmed themselves in some way, take them to the hospital or call for emergency help.

Causes Mental illness

Mental illnesses are thought to be caused by a variety of factors, including genetics and the environment.

  • Inherited traits.Mental illness is more common in people who have relatives with mental illness. Certain genes may increase your risk of developing a mental illness, and factors in your life may trigger it.

  • Environmental exposures before birth.Pregnancy can sometimes lead to mental illness if a person is exposed to environmental stressors, toxins, alcohol, or drugs while they are in the womb.

  • Brain chemistry.Neurotransmitters are natural chemicals that help to send signals between the brain and other parts of the body. When the neural networks involving these chemicals are impaired, this can lead to depression and other emotional disorders.

Risk factors Mental illness

There are some things that may increase your risk of developing a mental illness, including:

  • If you have a history of mental illness in your bloodline, it means that gene is likely passed down from your parents or siblings.

  • Stressful life events such as financial problems, the death of a loved one, or a divorce can cause stress.

  • A medical condition that is ongoing, such as diabetes, is a chronic condition.

  • Traumatic brain injury can cause brain damage.

  • Traumatic experiences such as military combat or assault can be very stressful.

  • Using alcohol or drugs for recreation can be harmful.

  • A childhood history of abuse or neglect

  • Having few friends or relationships that are healthy can be difficult.

  • A previous mental illness

Mental illness is common. About 1 in 5 adults have a mental illness at some point in their lives. Mental illness can develop at any age, but it often begins during childhood or early adulthood.

Mental illness can have short- or long-term effects. You might also have more than one mental health disorder at the same time. For example, you might have depression and a substance use disorder.

Complications Mental illness

Mental illness is a leading cause of disability. If not treated, mental illness can lead to severe emotional and physical problems. Complications that may be associated with mental illness include:

  • unhappiness can lead to a decrease in enjoyment of life.

  • Family conflicts

  • Relationship difficulties

  • Social isolation

  • Tobacco alcohol and other drugs can have problems.

  • Not having to go to school or work because of something else

  • Legal and financial problems

  • Homelessness and poverty

  • Self-harm and harming others, including suicide or homicide, are wrong.

  • Your weakened immune system makes it harder for your body to resist infections.

  • Medical conditions such as heart disease can occur.

What are the 5 signs of mental illness?

Mentally ill people will display five common signs They are: A delusion is a false belief that one has either fabricated or misinterpreted This can be any kind of belief including persecutory delusions (the belief that someone is "out to get you") Delusions come in many forms and can have bizarre elements; for example the person may believe he is being stalked by aliens or followed by spirits A person with paranoid schizophrenia may also have delusions of reference believing that nothing happens by chance – but only significant things relate directly to him or her Beliefs that others want to hurt them or beliefs

Can the brain heal itself from mental illness?

Lately there has been a lot of emphasis on physical health but the brain can heal from mental illness as well Exercise and foods that boost brain power are two ways to keep your mind healthy Also meditating is a popular practice for both physical and mental health Meditation helps you focus on one thing which prevents distractions in everyday life

What foods heal the brain?

Breakfast is a very important meal Skipping breakfast can not only affect your body but also your mind A healthy brain requires lots of fuel that includes certain vitamins minerals and proteins You should build up the nutrients in your brain through diet or supplements because it helps prevent age-related neurological disorders such as Alzheimer's disease Here are some foods to eat throughout the day for optimal cognitive function

How can I repair my brain?

By giving your brain a few basic upgrades you can actually improve its functioning This might sound like science fiction or something that only happens in movies but it's true Your brain is capable of growing new cells and making new connections even as an adult So if you're looking for a way to give yourself a boost mentally these four tips should help:

How can I rebuild my mental health?

Recovery is a process that takes time The first step in recovery is accepting the fact that you have a mental illness and need help to get well Once you recognize that it's not your fault you can begin exploring treatment options Seeking therapy or joining a support group are great ways to start rebuilding your mental health You should also learn as much as you can about depression and bipolar disorder so that you can take care of yourself by making healthy lifestyle changes like exercising regularly and making better food choices If medication is recommended for treating your condition be sure to take it exactly as directed so your body becomes accustomed to the right amounts of

Mental illness test

Knowing the symptoms and warning signs of any mental illnesses is important because it gives those around you a better chance at understanding your condition and then helping you Any major change in behavior or feelings could be an important sign for a mental illness If someone who usually has a cheerful attitude becomes withdrawn that can be a cause for concern If someone whom you know to be normally laid back becomes angry frequently this should also be considered something worth looking into.

Mental illness is the general term used to describe conditions that affect a person's thinking feeling or mood The majority of mental illnesses are not caused by genes but are a result of complex interactions between biological psychological and social factors Feeling anxious being upset or depressed once in a while is normal These feelings may be lasting or temporary More than one in four people in any country at any given time will experience a mental health problem as defined by WHO Depression is the leading cause of ill-health and disability worldwide (World Health Report 2001) Mental illnesses tend to emerge or re-emerge during times of great.

Prevention Mental illness

There is no guaranteed way to prevent mental illness. However, if you have a mental illness, taking steps to control stress and increase your resilience may help keep your symptoms under control. Follow these steps:

  • Be aware of warning signs.Talk to your doctor or therapist about what might be triggering your symptoms. Make a plan for how you will respond if symptoms return.If you notice any changes in your symptoms or how you feel, contact your doctor or therapist. Include family members or friends in your plan, in case they notice warning signs.

  • Get routine medical care.Make sure to visit your primary care provider if you are not feeling well. You may have a new health problem that needs to be treated or you may be experiencing side effects of your medication.

  • Get help when you need it.If you have a mental health condition, it may be harder to treat the condition if you wait until it becomes severe. Treatment with long-term maintenance can help prevent a relapse of symptoms.

  • Take good care of yourself.Getting enough sleep, eating healthy foods, and working out regularly are important for a healthy life. If you have trouble sleeping or you have questions about these things, talk to your doctor.

Diagnosis Mental illness

To diagnose a problem and determine any related complications, you may need to do some testing.

  • A physical exam.Your doctor will look for physical problems that may be causing your symptoms.

  • Lab tests.A check of your thyroid function or screening for alcohol and drugs may be included in this test.

  • A psychological evaluation.A doctor or mental health professional will talk to you about your symptoms, thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. You may be asked to complete a questionnaire to help provide answers.

To determine which mental illness you have, you will need to talk to a doctor.

It can sometimes be difficult to determine which mental illness may be causing your symptoms. But by getting an accurate diagnosis, you will be better prepared to receive the appropriate treatment. The more information you have, the easier it will be to work with your mental health. The doctor will be familiar with what your symptoms may mean.

Each mental illness has specific symptoms that are detailed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). This book is used by mental health professionals to identify mental conditions and by insurance companies to pay for treatment. This is for treatment.

Classes of mental illness

The main classes of mental illness are:

  • Neurodevelopmental disorders.This class covers a variety of problems that often start in infancy or childhood. Some examples are autism spectrum disorder, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and learning disabilities.

  • Schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders are on the spectrum of mental illness.Psychotic disorders cause people to lose touch with reality — for example, by having delusions (false beliefs), hallucinations (seeing things that are not there), and disorganized thinking and speech. The most notable example of this is schizophrenia, but it can happen with other disorders too.

  • Bipolar and related disorders.This class includes disorders that have alternating episodes of mania and depression.

  • Depressive disorders.These are disorders that affect your emotions and can disrupt your ability to function. Some examples include major depressive disorder and premenstrual dysphoric disorder.

  • Anxiety disorders.Anxiety is an emotion characterized by the worry that something bad might happen in the future. It can include a fear of specific situations, such as panic disorder and phobias.

  • Obsessive-compulsive and related disorders are conditions that cause people to have a lot of thoughts and worries about things that usually do not bother them.These disorders involve preoccupations or obsessions and repetitive thoughts, which can be harmful to oneself. For example, obsessive-compulsive disorder includes a focus on collecting objects, while hoarding disorder is characterized by the acquisition of too many possessions despite having no need for them. And hair-pulling disorder (trichotillomania) is when someone pulls their hair out excessively.

  • Trauma- and stressor-related disorders.Adjustment disorders are problems that people experience when they are coping with or after a stressful life event. These problems can include post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and acute stress disorder.

  • Dissociative disorders.These are disorders in which your sense of self is disrupted, such as with dissociative identity disorder and dissociative amnesia.

  • Somatic symptoms and related disorders. A person with one of these disorders may experience physical symptoms that cause major emotional distress and problems functioning. There may or may not be another diagnosed medical condition associated with these symptoms, but the reaction to the symptoms is not normal. The disorders include somatic dysfunction, anxiety, and stress. There are several disorders that can be associated with symptoms, including anxiety and depression.

  • Feeding and eating disorders. These disorders include disturbances related to eating that impact nutrition and health, such as anorexia nervosa and binge-eating disorder.

  • Elimination disorders. These disorders relate to the inappropriate elimination of urine or stool by accident or on purpose. Bed-wetting (enuresis) is an example.

  • Sleep-wake disorders. These are disorders of sleep severe enough to require clinical attention, such as insomnia, sleep apnea and restless legs syndrome.

  • Sexual dysfunctions. These include disorders of sexual response, such as premature ejaculation and female orgasmic disorder.

  • Gender dysphoria. This refers to the distress that accompanies a person's stated desire to be another gender.

  • Disruptive, impulse-control and conduct disorders. These disorders include problems with emotional and behavioral self-control, such as kleptomania or intermittent explosive disorder.

  • Substance-related and addictive disorders. These include problems associated with the excessive use of alcohol, caffeine, tobacco and drugs. This class also includes gambling disorders.

  • Neurocognitive disorders. Neurocognitive disorders affect your ability to think and reason. These acquired (rather than developmental) cognitive problems include delirium, as well as neurocognitive disorders due to conditions or diseases such as traumatic brain injury or Alzheimer's disease.

  • Personality disorders. A personality disorder involves a lasting pattern of emotional instability and unhealthy behavior that causes problems in your life and relationships. Examples include borderline, antisocial and narcissistic personality disorders.

  • Paraphilic disorders. These disorders include sexual interest that causes personal distress or impairment or causes potential or actual harm to another person. Examples are sexual sadism disorder, voyeuristic disorder and pedophilic disorder.

  • Other mental disorders. This class includes mental disorders that are due to other medical conditions or that don't meet the full criteria for one of the above disorders.

Treatment Mental illness

Your treatment depends on the type of mental illness you have, its severity and what works best for you. In many cases, a combination of treatments works best.

If you have a mild mental illness with well-controlled symptoms, treatment from your primary care provider may be sufficient. However, often a team approach is appropriate to make sure all your psychiatric, medical and social needs are met. This is especially important for severe mental illnesses, such as schizophrenia.

Your treatment team

Your treatment team may include your:


Although psychiatric medications don't cure mental illness, they can often significantly improve symptoms. Psychiatric medications can also help make other treatments, such as psychotherapy, more effective. The best medications for you will depend on your particular situation and how your body responds to the medication.

Some of the most commonly used classes of prescription psychiatric medications include:

  • Antidepressants. Antidepressants are used to treat depression, anxiety and sometimes other conditions. They can help improve symptoms such as sadness, hopelessness, lack of energy, difficulty concentrating and lack of interest in activities. Antidepressants are not addictive and do not cause dependency.

  • Anti-anxiety medications. These drugs are used to treat anxiety disorders, such as generalized anxiety disorder or panic disorder. They may also help reduce agitation and insomnia. Long-term anti-anxiety drugs typically are antidepressants that also work for anxiety. Fast-acting anti-anxiety drugs help with short-term relief, but they also have the potential to cause dependency, so ideally they'd be used short term.

  • Mood-stabilizing medications. Mood stabilizers are most commonly used to treat bipolar disorders, which involves alternating episodes of mania and depression. Sometimes mood stabilizers are used with antidepressants to treat depression.

  • Antipsychotic medications. Antipsychotic drugs are typically used to treat psychotic disorders, such as schizophrenia. Antipsychotic medications may also be used to treat bipolar disorders or used with antidepressants to treat depression.


Psychotherapy, also called talk therapy, involves talking about your condition and related issues with a mental health professional. During psychotherapy, you learn about your condition and your moods, feelings, thoughts and behavior. With the insights and knowledge you gain, you can learn coping and stress management skills.

There are many types of psychotherapy, each with its own approach to improving your mental well-being. Psychotherapy often can be successfully completed in a few months, but in some cases, long-term treatment may be needed. It can take place one-on-one, in a group or with family members.

When choosing a therapist, you should feel comfortable and be confident that he or she is capable of listening and hearing what you have to say. Also, it's important that your therapist understands the life journey that has helped shape who you are and how you live in the world.

  1. Child medical and psychological care

Brain-stimulation treatments

Brain-stimulation treatments are sometimes used for depression and other mental health disorders. They're generally reserved for situations in which medications and psychotherapy haven't worked. They include electroconvulsive therapy, repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation, deep brain stimulation and vagus nerve stimulation.

Make sure you understand all the risks and benefits of any recommended treatment.

Hospital and residential treatment programs

Sometimes mental illness becomes so severe that you need care in a psychiatric hospital. This is generally recommended when you can't care for yourself properly or when you're in immediate danger of harming yourself or someone else.

Options include 24-hour inpatient care, partial or day hospitalization, or residential treatment, which offers a temporary supportive place to live. Another option may be intensive outpatient treatment.

Substance misuse treatment

Problems with substance use commonly occur along with mental illness. Often it interferes with treatment and worsens mental illness. If you can't stop using drugs or alcohol on your own, you need treatment. Talk to your doctor about treatment options.

Participating in your own care

Working together, you and your primary care provider or mental health professional can decide which treatment may be best, depending on your symptoms and their severity, your personal preferences, medication side effects, and other factors. In some cases, a mental illness may be so severe that a doctor or loved one may need to guide your care until you're well enough to participate in decision-making.

More Information

  • Mental health providers: Tips on finding one

  • Deep brain stimulation

  • Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)

  • Psychotherapy

  • Transcranial magnetic stimulation

  • Vagus nerve stimulation

Lifestyle and home remedies

In most cases, a mental illness won't get better if you try to treat it on your own without professional care. But you can do some things for yourself that will build on your treatment plan:

  • Stick to your treatment plan. Don't skip therapy sessions. Even if you're feeling better, don't skip your medications. If you stop, symptoms may come back. And you could have withdrawal-like symptoms if you stop medication too suddenly. If you have bothersome drug side effects or other problems with treatment, talk to your doctor before making changes.

  • Avoid alcohol and drug use. Using alcohol or recreational drugs can make it difficult to treat a mental illness. If you're addicted, quitting can be a real challenge. If you can't quit on your own, see your doctor or find a support group to help you.

  • Stay active. Exercise can help you manage symptoms of depression, stress and anxiety. Physical activity can also counteract the effects of some psychiatric medications that may cause weight gain. Consider walking, swimming, gardening or any form of physical activity that you enjoy. Even light physical activity can make a difference.

  • Make healthy choices. Maintaining a regular schedule that includes sufficient sleep, healthy eating and regular physical activity are important to your mental health.

  • Don't make important decisions when your symptoms are severe. Avoid decision-making when you're in the depth of mental illness symptoms, since you may not be thinking clearly.

  • Determine priorities. You may reduce the impact of your mental illness by managing time and energy. Cut back on obligations when necessary and set reasonable goals. Give yourself permission to do less when symptoms are worse. You may find it helpful to make a list of daily tasks or use a planner to structure your time and stay organized.

  • Learn to adopt a positive attitude. Focusing on the positive things in your life can make your life better and may even improve your health. Try to accept changes when they occur, and keep problems in perspective. Stress management techniques, including relaxation methods, may help.

Coping and support

Coping with a mental illness is challenging. Talk to your doctor or therapist about improving your coping skills, and consider these tips:

  • Learn about your mental illness. Your doctor or therapist can provide you with information or may recommend classes, books or websites. Include your family, too — this can help the people who care about you understand what you're going through and learn how they can help.

  • Join a support group. Connecting with others facing similar challenges may help you cope. Support groups for mental illness are available in many communities and online. One good place to start is the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

  • Stay connected with friends and family. Try to participate in social activities, and get together with family or friends regularly. Ask for help when you need it, and be upfront with your loved ones about how you're doing.

  • Keep a journal. Or jot down brief thoughts or record symptoms on a smartphone app. Keeping track of your personal life and sharing information with your therapist can help you identify what triggers or improves your symptoms. It's also a healthy way to explore and express pain, anger, fear and other emotions.

Preparing for your appointment

Whether you schedule an appointment with your primary care provider to talk about mental health concerns or you're referred to a mental health professional, such as a psychiatrist or psychologist, take steps to prepare for your appointment.

If possible, take a family member or friend along. Someone who has known you for a long time may be able to share important information, with your permission.

What you can do

Before your appointment, make a list of:

  • Any symptoms you or people close to you have noticed, and for how long

  • Key personal information, including traumatic events in your past and any current, major stressors

  • Your medical information, including other physical or mental health conditions

  • Any medications, vitamins, herbal products or other supplements you take, and their dosages

  • Questions to ask your doctor or mental health professional

Questions to ask may include:

  • What type of mental illness might I have?

  • Why can't I get over mental illness on my own?

  • How do you treat my type of mental illness?

  • Will talk therapy help?

  • Are there medications that might help?

  • How long will treatment take?

  • What can I do to help myself?

  • Do you have any brochures or other printed material that I can have?

  • What websites do you recommend?

Don't hesitate to ask any other questions during your appointment.

What to expect from your doctor

During your appointment, your doctor or mental health professional is likely to ask you questions about your mood, thoughts and behavior, such as:

  • When did you first notice symptoms?

  • How is your daily life affected by your symptoms?

  • What treatment, if any, have you had for mental illness?

  • What have you tried on your own to feel better or control your symptoms?

  • What things make you feel worse?

  • Have family members or friends commented on your mood or behavior?

  • Do you have blood relatives with a mental illness?

  • What do you hope to gain from treatment?

  • What medications or over-the-counter herbs and supplements do you take?

  • Do you drink alcohol or use recreational drugs?

Your doctor or mental health professional will ask additional questions based on your responses, symptoms and needs. Preparing and anticipating questions will help you make the most of your time with the doctor.

General summary

  1. No one can cure mental illnesses; however they can be managed That said there are treatments available for severe conditions like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder that allow sufferers to function more normally in society than they could before receiving treatment A brain disorder is something a person is born with not something he or she gets says the National Institute of Mental Health It's like having diabetes or high blood pressure: you're born with it but lifestyle choices affect how well you manage it You have to take your meds on schedule and pay attention to things that may trigger an episode in order to feel better by managing your symptoms.

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