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About Mental Illness

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A mental illness is a condition that impacts a person’s thinking, feeling or mood may affect and his or her ability to relate to others and function on a daily basis. Each person will have different experiences, even people with the same diagnosis.

Recovery, including meaningful roles in social life, school and work, is possible, especially when you start treatment early and play a strong role in your own recovery process.

A mental health condition isn’t the result of one event. Research suggests multiple, interlinking causes. Genetics, environment and lifestyle combine to influence whether someone develops a mental health condition. A stressful job or home life makes some people more susceptible, as do traumatic life events like being the victim of a crime. Biochemical processes and circuits as well as basic brain structure may play a role too.

Recovery and Wellness

1 in 5 adults experiences a mental health condition every year. 1 in 20 lives with a serious mental illness such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. In addition to the person directly experiencing by a mental illness, family, friends and communities are also affected.

50% of mental health conditions begin by age 14 and 75% of mental health conditions develop by age 24. The normal personality and behavior changes of adolescence may mimic or mask symptoms of a mental health condition. Early engagement and support are crucial to improving outcomes and increasing the promise of recovery.

Find out more about a specific mental illness:

Find out more about conditions sometimes related to mental illness:

Treatment & Services

More Resources

Infographics

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Children & Teens

GeneralMHFacts

America Mental Health Facts

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Multicultural Mental Health Facts

NAMI Infographic - Getting the Right Start

Getting the Right Start

NAMI Infographic - Taking Charge

Taking Charge

NAMI Infographic - Helping Others Along the Road

How to Help a Friend

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Supporting a Loved One

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Mental Health Parity

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