Mental illness is a condition that affects a person’s mood, thinking, and behavior. It can cause distress and problems functioning in day-to-day life.

Mental illness is common. In fact, one in five adults in the United States experiences mental illness in a given year.1 But there’s hope. Treatment can help you manage symptoms, cope with stress, and improve your quality of life. This resource will give you an overview of mental illness, including its causes, risk factors, signs and symptoms, and how to get help.

Mental illness refers to a wide range of mental health conditions that affect your mood, thinking, and behavior. Examples include anxiety disorders, depression, and schizophrenia.

Mental illness can cause a wide range of symptoms. These may include changes in your mood, thinking, or behavior. You may also have physical symptoms, such as sleep problems or weight changes.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to see a doctor or mental health professional. They can help you understand what is going on and how to get better.

If you are having suicidal thoughts, it is important to seek help immediately. You can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 for 24/7 support.

There is no single cause of mental illness. Rather, it is caused by a combination of biological and environmental factors. For example, your genes may make you more vulnerable to developing a mental illness. And if you experience trauma or stress in your life, that can increase your risk.

Mental illness can lead to a number of complications in your life. For example, it can interfere with your ability to work or go to school. It can also strain your relationships and make it hard to cope with everyday life stressors. If left untreated, mental illness can even be deadly; suicide is one of the leading causes of death among people with mental illness.

Fortunately, there are things you can do to prevent mental


Most mental illnesses don’t have one single cause. Rather, they’re the result of a combination of biology and environment.

Biology. This can include brain chemistry, hormones, and genetics.

For example, some mental illnesses may be caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain.

Others may be the result of genetic factors (passed down from family members).

And some may be due to a head injury or other physical trauma to the brain.

Environment. This can refer to both external factors like family relationships, upbringing, social status, and traumas like abuse or neglect.

It can also refer to internal factors like how someone copes with stress or manages their thoughts and emotions.

Mental illness symptoms can vary widely depending on the specific disorder. But there are some common signs that something might be wrong, such as:

Feeling sad or “empty” for long periods of time

Losing interest in activities you used to enjoy

Having trouble sleeping or sleeping too much

Eating too little or overeating

Feeling hopeless or helpless

Having low energy or feeling sluggish all the time

Feeling angry or irritable all the time

Having intrusive thoughts that you can’t get out of your head compulsively doing certain behaviors in an attempt to make them go away (like washing your hands over and over because you feel dirty)

When to see a doctor

If you think you may have a mental illness, see your doctor or a mental health professional. They can help you determine if you have a mental illness and make a treatment plan.

If you have suicidal thoughts, get help from a crisis or suicide prevention hotline. If you’re in danger of harming yourself or someone else, call 911.

There are many warning signs of mental illness. If you experience any of the following for more than two weeks, talk to your doctor:

● Feeling sad or down most of the time

● Losing interest in activities you used to enjoy

● Having trouble concentrating or making decisions

● Eating too much or too little

● Sleeping too much or not enough

● Withdrawing from friends and activities

● Feeling hopeless, worthless, or helpless

● Experiencing frequent mood swings

● Abusing drugs or alcohol

If you have suicidal thoughts

If you’re experiencing suicidal thoughts, it’s important to reach out for help. You can call a suicide hotline in your country to speak with someone who can help.

There are many risk factors for suicide, including mental illness, substance abuse, and life stressors. If you’re struggling with suicidal thoughts, it’s important to talk to someone who can help you understand your options and get the support you need.


Mental illness is caused by a variety of factors. It can be caused by genetic factors, such as if you have a family member with mental illness. It can also be caused by environmental factors, such as exposure to violence or trauma. Additionally, mental illness can be caused by biochemical imbalances in the brain.

Risk factors for mental illness include having a family history of mental illness, being exposed to violence or trauma, having problems with substance abuse, and having certain medical conditions.

Complications of mental illness can include suicide, self-harm, and substance abuse.

Prevention of mental illness includes early intervention and treatment of underlying medical conditions.

Risk factors

– Family history of mental illness

– Exposure to trauma or stress

– Having a chronic physical health condition

– Substance abuse

– poverty

– social isolation


Mental illness can lead to a number of complications if it is not properly treated. These can include:

-Increased risk of suicide

-Substance abuse

-Legal problems

-Relationship difficulties

-Problems at work or school

-Poor physical health


Mental illness is often caused by a combination of genetic, psychological, and environmental factors. If you have a family history of mental illness, you may be at increased risk. Other risk factors include exposure to trauma, abuse, or neglect; exposure to viral infections; and stress.

There are several things you can do to help prevent mental illness:

• Get regular exercise. Exercise can help reduce stress and improve your mood.

• Get plenty of sleep. Sleep deprivation can worsen symptoms of mental illness.

• Eat a healthy diet. A healthy diet can help improve your mood and give you more energy.

• Avoid drugs and alcohol. Drugs and alcohol can make symptoms worse and lead to addiction.


Mental illness is a serious problem that can affect anyone, at any time. If you or someone you know is struggling with mental illness, it’s important to seek help from a doctor or other professional as soon as possible. Mental illness can be caused by a variety of factors, and it can have a number of different effects on the sufferer’s life. However, with treatment, many people with mental illness are able to live happy and healthy lives.

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