Maybe we need to cover some of the most common mental illnesses that men and women suffer from, since almost 20% of the population suffer from one (even just for a relatively short time). Let's continue to eliminate the stigma around having one (like I do, having major depression). Understanding can help people become more empathetic.
Mood Disorders (like depression) – This includes Bipolar Disorder (“The disorder often involves experiencing shifts between elevated moods and periods of depression”). Major Depression means those suffering from it slip into fairly extended periods of lack of energy, focus, irrational low self-esteem. “Major depression is an episode of sadness or apathy along with other symptoms that lasts at least two consecutive weeks and is severe enough to interrupt daily activities.”
Anxiety Disorders – Victims respond to life situations with a generalized sense of fear or dread. These are way out-of-proportion to normal anxieties. This includes Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Agoraphobia (fearing public places or specific places), and Panic Disorder. I used to have panic attacks back in 2011. They can be very severe and debilitating—even if only a short-term problem.
Psychotic Disorders – Psychotic disorders involve distorted awareness and thinking. This is breaking from reality around you. The main kinds of symptoms are hallucinations (e.g. hearing voices), and delusions (which is accepting things as true in spite of evidence). Schizophrenia is an example.
Personality Disorders – Characterized by extremely rigid patterns of belief and action. “Examples include antisocial personality disorder, obsessive-compulsive personality disorder....”
Dissociative Disorders – “People with these disorders suffer severe disturbances or changes in memory, consciousness, identity, and general awareness of themselves and their surroundings.”
PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) – It's likely that many returning from the Vietnam War had this to deal with (as well those returning from wars in Afghanistan and Iraq). Usually comes about after a severely-shocking, sudden type of adverse event, such as: war, rape, other abuse, or serious vehicle accident.
Please help others (both adults and adolescents) by attending our upcoming interactive Mental Health First Aid courses! You will learn to identify, understand, and to respond to those in mental health crisis!
 WebMD. (2017). Types of Mental Illness. WebMD. Retrieved from http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/mental-health-types-illness#1 .
 Cherry, Kendra. (2017, April 17). A List of Psychological Disorders. Verywell.com. Retrieved from https://www.verywell.com/a-list-of-psychological-disorders-2794776 .
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