Anxiety Disorders

Bipolar Disorder

Depression

Mood Disorders

Personality Disorders

Schizophernia

A Look Inside Mental Illness

Click on an illness for more information

ANXIETY DISORDERS:Fear and anxiety are part of life. You may feel anxious before you take a test or walk down a dark street. This kind of anxiety is useful - it can make you more alert or careful. It usually ends soon after you are out of the situation that caused it. But for millions of people in the United States, the anxiety does not go away, and gets worse over time. They may have chest pains or nightmares. They may even be afraid to leave home. These people have anxiety disorders. Types include: Panic disorder, Obsessive-compulsive disorder, Post-traumatic stress disorder, Phobias, Generalized anxiety disorder. Treatment can involve medicines, therapy or both.
BIPOLAR DISORDER is a mental illness marked by extreme shifts in mood ranging from a manic to a depressive state. Bipolar disorder is also called manic depression. A person with mania will feel impulsive, euphoric, and full of energy. He or she might engage in risky or unhealthy behavior. Drug use, spending sprees, and impulsive or unprotected sex are common during manic episodes. The depressive episodes might bring on deep sadness and hopelessness. Depression causes a loss of energy and interest in activities the person once enjoyed. This phase can include periods of too little or too much sleep, suicidal thoughts or attempts.
DEPRESSION: Many people use the word depression to explain these kinds of feelings, but depression is much more than just sadness. Some people describe depression as living in a black hole or having a feeling of impending doom. However, some depressed people don't feel sad at all—they may feel lifeless, empty, and apathetic, or men in particular may even feel angry, aggressive, and restless. Whatever the symptoms, depression is different from normal sadness in that it engulfs your day-to-day life, interfering with your ability to work, study, eat, sleep, and have fun. The feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, and worthlessness are intense and unrelenting, with little, if any, relief.
MOOD DISORDERS: Most people feel sad or irritable from time to time. They may say they're in a bad mood. A mood disorder is different. It affects a person's everyday emotional state. Nearly one in ten people aged 18 and older have mood disorders. These include depression and bipolar disorder (also called manic depression). Mood disorders can increase a person's risk for heart disease, diabetes, and other diseases. Treatments include medication, psychotherapy, or a combination of both. With treatment, most people with mood disorders can lead productive lives.
PERSONALITY DISORDERS are a group of mental illnesses. They involve long-term patterns of thoughts and behaviors that are unhealthy and inflexible. People with personality disorders have trouble dealing with everyday stresses and problems. They often have stormy relationships with other people. The cause of personality disorders is unknown. However, genes and childhood experiences may play a role. The symptoms of each personality disorder are different. People with personality disorders may have trouble realizing that they have a problem. To them, their thoughts are normal, and they often blame others for their problems. They may try to get help because of their problems with relationships and work. Treatment usually includes talk therapy and sometimes medicine.
SCHIZOPHERNIA is a serious brain illness. People who have it may hear voices that aren't there. They may think other people are trying to hurt them. Sometimes they don't make sense when they talk. The disorder makes it hard for them to keep a job or take care of themselves. No one is sure what causes schizophrenia. Your genes, environment, and brain chemistry may play a role. There is no cure. Medicine can help control many of the symptoms. You may need to try different medicines to see which works best. You should stay on your medicine for as long as your doctor recommends. Additional treatments can help you deal with your illness from day to day. These include therapy, family education, rehabilitation, and skills training.

Information provided by WebMD