How do I know it's a mental illness

Does a loved one have a mental disorder?

How Do I Know if My [Parent, Child, Sibling, Friend, Co-Worker] Has a Mental Disorder?

Many people with mental health disorders and their loved ones know that May is Mental Health Month and this year marks its 70th year! Visit  for more information.


Why do we need an entire month devoted to mental health? Here’s one big reason: over 43 million people in the US experiences mental health illness in a given year, that’s 1 in every 5 American, men, women, children, teens, seniors. All walks of life, all parts of the country.


The odds are good that within your lifetime, you or someone you know will be touched by mental illness. Here is some general information covering the most common mental health disorders and their symptoms that may be helpful to you.




Far and away, anxiety and all its variations, is the most common type of psychiatric disorder among U.S. citizens. 19.1% of U.S. adults had any type of anxiety disorder in the past year, or around 42 million people.


Because of the excessive worrying that can be debilitating, all classes of anxiety disorder can interfere with daily activities such as job performance, school work and relationships. The worrying is almost impossible to control and must occur the majority of days for at least a six-month duration. The following are diagnostic symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder:




·Being easily fatigued


·Difficulty concentrating




·Muscle tension


·Sleep disturbance


17.3 million adults in the United States have had at least one major depressive episode in their life, or 7.1% of all U.S. adults and is the leading cause of disability for individuals 15-44 years old.


Although major depressive disorder is the most well-known depressive disorder, there are others such as persistent depressive disorder. Persistent depressive disorder differs from major depressive disorder in that the symptoms usually go up and down over a period of years. Symptoms of depressive disorders include the following:


·Difficulty sleeping


·Loss of interest in activities


·Feelings of guilt


·Loss of energy


·Poor concentration


·Psychomotor agitation, such as pacing, drumming the fingers or rapid talking


·Changes in appetite


·Suicidal thoughts


Bipolar Disorder


2.6% or (6.1 million) US adults are afflicted with Bipolarism. Bipolar affective disorder is recognizable by alternating periods of deep depression with periods of excessive elation, known as mania. Individuals suffer from extreme mood swings that can significantly interfere with personal relationships, work, and daily activities with differences on the frequency, duration and severity of the symptoms:


·Racing thoughts


·Pressured speech






·Thoughts or displays of grandiosity


·Appetite changes


·Weight loss


·Erratic, uninhibited behavior




Schizophrenia is a severe mental disorder that impacts ~2.4 million Americans and is characterized by psychotic symptoms and greatly affects how an individual feels, thinks, behaves and perceives reality. Individuals with schizophrenia can demonstrate such bizarre behavior that they often frighten others around them. Symptoms include:


·Hallucinations (seeing or hearing things)


·Delusions (false beliefs) of grandeur or persecution


·Disorganized thinking or speech


·Abnormal motor behavior


·Negative symptoms (egs., bad personal hygiene, no emotion in speech and behavior, no interest in everyday life, socially withdrawn)


Lessons to be learned


If you’ve never experienced mental illness, consider this:


1.Those who do struggle can’t simply stop struggling


2.They need your support in the way that is helpful for them specifically


3.The path towards wellness is often not a straight line


If you do struggle with mental illness, remember this:


1.You are not alone


2.Things can get better though it will take some work


3.Help IS available & searching for the right method(s) for you is worthwhile


We can help!


Take the first step with a free screening accessible on our website.