Mental illnesses are classified as a disorder that alters a person’s thinking, feeling, mood, or behavior. There are over 200 types of classified mental illnesses, including depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, eating disorders, attention deficit or hyperactivity disorder (ADD/ADHD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and schizophrenia. They can be temporary or long-lasting.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
- 1 in 5 Americans will experience a mental illness in a given year.
- 1 in 5 children currently are experiencing or have experienced a seriously debilitating mental illness during their life.
- 1 in 25 Americans live with a serious mental illness – bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, or major depression – and any of the mental illnesses can impact someone’s ability to function or relate to others.
- A number of things can contribute to risk for mental illness, but there is no singular cause. Certain life experiences like trauma, abuse, or ongoing chronic illnesses can lead to mental illness. Other factors include genetics, chemical imbalances in the brain, drug or alcohol use, having few friends, or general feelings of loneliness or isolation.