What is Mental Illness
Many people have mental health concerns from time to time. But a mental health concern becomes a mental illness when ongoing signs and symptoms cause frequent stress and affect your ability to function.
A mental illness can make you miserable and can cause problems in your daily life, such as at school or work or in relationships. In most cases, symptoms can be managed with a combination of medications and talk therapy (psychotherapy).
Mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of. It is a medical problem, just like heart disease or diabetes.
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.