top of page

What are Mental Illness?

According to the CDC, mental health includes, "our emotional, psychological, and social well-being." It affects how we think, feel, how we handle stress, how we relate to others, and how we make choices. This project looks at just a few of the different types of mental illness. These definitions help to provide detailed information about who is affected by these types of mental health issues and the symptoms of each.

For more information check out the links


ADHD: Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder affects both children and adults. Symptoms include inattention, not being able to focus, hyperactivity, fidgeting, impulsivity (doing things without thinking). 8.4% of children and 2.5% of adults have ADHD. This affects their work, home, and relationships. Some causes include genetic contributes, being born prematurely, brain injury, mother smoking using alcohol or having extreme stress during pregnancy. 


Anorexia: prolonged lack or loss of appetite or a loss of interest in food. It is connected to depression, bulimia nervosa, perfectionists, and low self-esteem. This leads to feeling physical weakness, headaches, dizziness, and weight loss. Individuals typically become preoccupied with food and their body weight. They struggle with “feeling fat” and have an intense fear of gaining weight. 

They often-

  • Limited food intake

  • Have problems with body image or denial of low body weight

  • Have menstrual periods cease

  • Have osteopenia or osteoporosis (thinning of the bones) through the loss of calcium

  • hair/nails become brittle

  • Skin dries and can take on a yellowish cast

  • Mild anemia; and muscles, including the heart muscle, waste away

  • Severe constipation

  • Drop-in blood pressure slowed breathing and pulse rates

  • Internal body temperature falls, causing a person to feel cold all the time

  • Depression and lethargy

There has become a link between emotional and physical health. Psychotherapy helps individuals with eating disorders to understand the thoughts, emotions, and behaviors that trigger these disorders. Also, some medications have proven to be effective in the treatment process.


Anxiety: Excessive nervousness, fear, apprehension, and worry. An emotion characterized by feelings of tension, worried thoughts, and physical changes like increased blood pressure. Anxiety is natural but is taken to the extreme for those who struggle with anxiety. A natural stress response.


Bipolar 1: Is having had at least one manic episode that may be preceded or followed by hypomanic or major depressive episodes. In some cases, mania may trigger a break from reality (psychosis). Episodes include hypomania and mania are more severe and more noticeable problems in life's activity and difficulties in relationships. Mania may also trigger a break from reality and require hospitalization and hypomania. 

A mood disorder involves cycles of depression, elation, or mania. High=manic and low=depressive. During episodes, there is decreased brain activity. It affects people between ages 15-25 and 45-54, including family history, life stressors including abuse.


Depression: negatively affects how you feel, the way you think, and how you act. This causes feelings of sadness and or loss of interest in activities that were previously enjoyed. Increased sadness, irritability, or low motivation for at least 2 weeks in a row and severe enough to negatively affect one’s life. It is not a sign of weakness or a character flaw. It is a treatable medical illness. It causes less brain activity than a person without depression. This can lead to suicidal thoughts and actions. Those at risk include family history as a risk factor, being a child or sibling of a depressed person and women are twice as likely as men, vary based on gender, age, and ethnic background. It causes changes in brain structure and chemistry. Treatments include transcranial magnetic stimulation, electroconvulsive therapy, Vagus Nerve Stimulation (VNS), social support, pets, light therapy, exercise, medications, and talk therapy.


Emotional Eating/ Binge Eating/ Stress Eating: Response to feeling such as stress. also known as overeating to deal with emotions. Individuals often crave comfort food.  While emotional eating can be a symptom of what mental health professionals call atypical depression, many people who do not have clinical depression or any other mental health issue engage in this behavior in response to momentary feelings of chronic stress.


Generalized Anxiety Disorder: a chronic disorder involving excessive, long-lasting anxiety and worries about nonspecific life events, objects, and situations. The most common form of anxiety.

Night Terror:  also known as sleep terrors a type of parasomnia that occurs during non-REM sleep. During which there is screaming, flailing, or kicking. Other symptoms include rapid heart rate and breathing, flushing of the skin, sweating, dilation of the pupils, and tensing of the muscles. It often involves physical and vocal behaviors. 


Panic Attacks/ Panic Disorder: a brief or sudden attack of intense terror and apprehension. Symptoms include shaking, confusion, dizziness, nausea, and breathing difficulties. It can happen after frightening experiences or prolonged stress and can occur without a trigger. It affects 1 in 75 people and can last 5-20mins. Some symptoms can linger for up to an hour. And there can be recurring attacks.


PTSD: Post-traumatic stress disorder can be triggered by a terrifying event. Symptoms include flashbacks, nightmares, and severe anxiety, and uncontrollable thoughts about the event. PTSD can occur in anyone and is more common in women than men. Re-experience the ordeal in the form of flashback episodes. Symptoms include headaches, gastrointestinal distress, immune system problems, dizziness, and chest pain.


Social Anxiety: A fear of negative judgment from others in social situations or of public embarrassment. Examples include stage fright, fear of intimacy, and anxiety around rejection, and humiliation. It is also known as social phobia. It can be treated by talking therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), and medications.


bottom of page