Mental Health

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Mental Health Information

We all feel stress, sadness, worry or a little out of touch sometimes. But with mental illnesses like depression and anxiety disorder, these feelings don’t let go for days, months or even years. Left untreated, mental illness can ruin lives.

Mental illness affects both adults and children. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), one in four adults experiences mental illness in a given year. Clinical depression affects 14.8 million Americans. Bi-polar disorder, or manic depression, affects more than 5.7 million Americans. And while schizophrenia and obsessive-compulsive disorder are less common, they too affect millions every year. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a real concern for our military and others who have experienced trauma.

Young people – especially teenagers – are vulnerable to a variety of mental illness, including depression, anxiety disorder and eating disorders. About 13 percent of children ages 8 to 15 experience severe mental disorders in a given year, according to the NIMH. About 8 percent of teens have a diagnosable anxiety disorder, while 12 percent of adolescent girls and 4.5 percent of adolescent boys experienced a major depressive episode in the past year, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

Fortunately, mental illnesses are treatable. The key to achieving good mental health is recognizing mental illness symptoms and seeking mental illness treatment. Understanding the different types of mental illness and the basics of treatment for mental illness are the first steps in helping yourself, a family member or a friend.

This Mental Health topic includes information, videos and resources to help you understand mental health and options for mental illness treatment. Leading experts, including Ken Duckworth, M.D., medical director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, provide advice for recognizing teen depression and anxiety in teenagers, as well as tips for how to deal with anxiety.

Living with mental illness can be challenging, but lifestyle changes and mental illness treatment—therapy and medications—can work together to treat an identified disorder and make life more livable.