What Is a Mental Illness?

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An infirmity of the brain causing increasing distress in everyday living.

Mind Instabilities

Click on the green links for easy-to-understand information about mental illnesses, mental health care, diagnosis, treatment and recovery.  Anxiety Disorders  ·  Bipolar Disorder ·  Borderline Personality Disorder ·  Depression ·  Dissociative Disorders  ·  Early Psychosis and Psychosis ·  Eating Disorders ·  Obsessive-compulsive Disorder ·  Posttraumatic Stress Disorder  ·  Schizoaffective Disorder ·  Schizophrenia.  Conditions  susceptible to mental illness:  ADHD · Autism · and other Related Conditions.

Early signs

  • Self-medicating
  • Obsessive thoughts difficult to control  
  • Discomfort in social situations  
  • Uncivilized behavior to self or others
  • Frequent job changes
  • These are but a few and they lean toward the extreme end of the spectrum--click the Early Signs Title for more examples

When should we seek help?

  • When it interferes or interrupts our learning, our goals, our relationships,  our work environment
  • When we find ourselves isolating from our families, friends, coworkers, the world for reasons other than concentration to complete projects
  • When our fears of other people, places and things overwhelm or control us
  • “I can do this on my own” becomes an increasing struggle 

Best lines of defense

  • Ask our family doctor for referrals to inpatient, outpatient, or local therapists
  • AOP Mental Health Clinics: walk in the door without a referral and ask for help
  • ER at your local hospital or call 911
  • ASK FOR SOMEONE TRAINED in handling mental health issues when there is violence and self harm
  • Do NOT second guess this
  • While you’re at it, take the Stigma Free Pledge

Education and networking are key tools to recovery.  See the calendar of events for upcoming classes and support groups, and contact us for further information.