Mental Illness


Schizophrenia is a severe and chronic brain disorder that affects approximately two million Americans today. Schizophrenia impairs a person’s ability to think clearly, manage his or her emotions, make decisions, and relate to others. People with schizophrenia suffer terrifying symptoms that often leave them fearful and withdrawn.


Bipolar disorder (manic depression) is a brain disorder involving episodes of mania and depression.


Depressive disorders are serious illnesses that affect a person’s mood, concentration, sleep, activity, appetite, social behavior, and feelings. Depressive disorders come in different forms, the most common being major depression (unipolar depression


Anxiety disorders include panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), generalized anxiety disorder, and phobias (social phobia, agoraphobia, and specific phobias
Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD): ADHD is a diagnosis applied to children and adults who consistently display certain characteristic behaviors over a period of time. The most common behaviors fall into three categories: inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. The most commonly diagnosed behavior disorder in young persons, ADHD affects an estimated three percent to five percent of school-age children.

Autism and Asperger’s syndrome:

Autism is classified as one of the most pervasive developmental disorders of the brain. It is not a disease. People with classical autism show three types of symptoms: impaired social interaction, problems with verbal and nonverbal communication, and unusual or severely limited activities and interests. Symptoms usually appear during the first three years of childhood and continue through life. There is currently no cure for autism, but appropriate treatment may result in relatively normal development and reduce undesirable behaviors. Asperger’s syndrome is related to autism. However, unlike with autism, a child with Asperger’s syndrome experiences no clinically significant delay in cognitive development, does not experience a gross delay in developing language skills, and does not have difficulty with creative thinking.

Dissociative disorders:

Dissociative disorders are so called because they are marked by a dissociation from or interruption of a person’s fundamental aspects of waking consciousness (such as one’s personal identity, one’s personal history, etc.). Dissociative disorders come in many forms, the most famous of which is dissociative identity disorder (formerly known as multiple personality disorder). All dissociative disorders are thought to stem from trauma. The dissociative aspect is thought to be a coping mechanism, a means for a person to literally dissociate him- or herself from a situation or experience too traumatic to integrate with the conscious self.

Eating disorders:

The three main types of eating disorders are anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge-eating disorder. Anorexia nervosa is a life-threatening eating disorder defined by a refusal to maintain body weight within 15 percent of minimal normal weight. Bulimia nervosa is a serious eating disorder marked by a destructive pattern of binge-eating and recurrent, inappropriate behavior to control weight, including self-induced vomiting and excessive exercising.

Mental illness and substance abuse:

Dual diagnosis refers to the co-occurrence of mental health disorders and substance abuse disorders (alcohol and/or drug dependence or abuse). There are many combinations of these dual/multiple disorders.
Personality disorders: Personality disorders are chronic mental disorders that affect a person’s ability to function in everyday activities, especially work, family, and social life. There are biological and psychological components to most personality disorders .

Sleep disorders:

There are several types of sleep disorders including insomnia, narcolepsy, and obstructive sleep apnea. This is characterized by recurrent episodes during sleep when the throat closes and prohibits air from entering the lungs (apnea), thus causing breathing to stop for a short time.

Tourette syndrome:

Tourette syndrome (TS) is an inherited neurological disorder characterized by repeated involuntary movements and uncontrollable vocal sounds called tics. The symptoms of TS generally appear before age 18. TS symptoms range from very mild to quite severe, but most cases are mild. Most people with TS require no medication, but medication is available to help with troublesome symptoms.