The terms “mental health” and “mental illness” are sometimes interchanged, but they differ in meaning. While mental health refers to anyone’s state of mental, emotional well-being, mental illnesses are diagnosed conditions that affect thoughts and behaviors. Though anyone can have moments of poor mental health, not everyone has a mental illness.
ANXIETY DISORDER is a type of mental health condition. Individuals with an anxiety disorder may respond to certain things and situations with fear and dread. Individuals may also experience physical symptoms such as a pounding heart and sweating. There are several types of anxiety disorders including generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder, phobias, and separation anxiety.
ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders of childhood. It often lasts until adulthood. Children with ADHD may have trouble paying attention, controlling impulsive behaviors (may act without thinking about what the result may be), or be overly active.
AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDER is a neurologic and developmental disorder that affects how people interact with others, communicate, learn, and behave. Autism is known as a “spectrum” disorder because there is wide variation in the type and severity of symptoms people experience.
BIPOLAR DISORDER is a serious mental illness that causes unusual shifts in mood, ranging from extreme highs (mania) to low (depression). A person who has bipolar disorder also experiences changes in their energy, thinking, and sleep. BIPOLAR 1 DISORDER: chronic mood swings that go from very high manic states to severe depressive episodes.
BIPOLAR II DISORDER: mood swings that go from high to low, but the highs are less extreme and are called hypomanic states. The depressive episodes may be just as severe as those in Bipolar I.
CYCLOTHYMIC DISORDER: chronic mood swings (both highs and lows) that are not as long, severe, or frequent as those experienced in Bipolar I and II disorders.
BORDERLINE PERSONALITY DISORDER (BPD) is a mental health condition. People with BPD have extreme mood swings, unstable relationships, and trouble controlling their emotions. They have a higher risk of suicide and self-destructive behaviors.
DEPRESSION is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. Also called major depressive disorder or clinical depression it can affect how a person feels, thinks, and behaves and can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems.
DISRUPTIVE MOOD DYSREGULATION DISORDER (DMDD) is a childhood condition that causes chronic, intense irritability, and frequent temper outbursts that are out of proportion to the situation.
EATING DISORDERS are behavioral conditions characterized by severe and persistent disturbance in eating behaviors and associated with distressing thoughts and emotions. They can be very serious conditions affecting physical, psychological, and social function. Types of eating disorders include anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder, avoidant restrictive food intake disorder, other specified feeding and eating disorder, pica, and rumination disorder.
OBSESSIVE-COMPULSIVE DISORDER (OCD) features a pattern of unwanted thoughts and fears (obsessions) that lead a person to do repetitive behaviors (compulsions). These obsessions and compulsions interfere with daily activities and cause significant distress.
POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER (PTSD) is a mental health condition that is triggered by a terrifying event – either experiencing it or witnessing it. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event.
SCHIZOPHRENIA is a serious mental disorder in which people interpret reality abnormally. Schizophrenia may result in some combination of hallucinations, delusions, and extremely disordered thinking, and behavior that impairs daily function, and can be disabling.
SUBSTANCE USE AND CO-OCCURRING MENTAL DISORDERS – SUBSTANCE USE DISORDER (SUD) is a treatable mental disorder that affects a person’s brain and behavior, leading to their inability to control their use of substances like legal or illegal drugs, alcohol, or medications. Symptoms can be moderate to severe with addiction being the most severe form of SUD. People with SUD may also have other mental health disorders, and people with mental health disorders may also struggle with substance abuse. These other mental health disorders can include anxiety disorders, depression, ADHD, bipolar disorder, personality disorders, and schizophrenia, among others.