Mental illness

Common Name(s)

Mental illness

Mental illness is a broad term for any condition that changes how someone thinks, feels, behaves or relates to other people and their surroundings. The causes of many mental illnesses are not known. Most are believed to be caused by a combination of genetic, biological, psychological and environmental factors.

Mental illness may run in a family. This may happen when certain changes in a gene or multiple genes increases a person’s risk for developing the condition. Then when other factors occur, the mental illness will develop. Biological factors may include certain infections, brain injury or defects, damage to the brain which occurs prenatally or during a pregnancy, long term substance abuse, poor nutrition or exposure to toxins. Psychological factors may include severe trauma such as emotional, physical or sexual abuse or witnessing or living through a traumatic event. Environmental factors may include social or cultural expectations (like being thin) or growing up in a dysfunctional home, but may also include exposure to certain toxins or experiences due to work or living conditions.

In any given year, about 20% of adults in the U.S. will experience a mental illness. Common mental illnesses include depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, and phobias. In addition, mental illnesses may cause substance use and eating disorders.

Mental illnesses require ongoing treatment for best results. Common treatments include medication and therapy, although different treatments are used for different disorders. If you have been diagnosed with a mental illness, talk to your doctor about the most current treatment options. A genetic counselor can help discuss inheritance and risks to other family members. Support groups are also a good source of information and will help connect you with other individuals and families affected by mental illness.

Source: Advocacy organizations associated with the condition.

 

Advocacy and Support Organizations

 

Condition Specific Organizations

Following organizations serve the condition "Mental illness" for support, advocacy or research.

Logo
everyminute.org

everyminute.org is a grassroots campaign uniting advocates, mental health professionals and organizations into a single coalition creating a public forum advancing the need and benefit of increased mental health research.

Last Updated: 25 Mar 2013

View Details
Logo
Mental Health America

Mental Health America is dedicated to promoting mental health, preventing mental disorders and achieving victory over mental illness through advocacy, education, research and service.

Last Updated: 24 Nov 2009

View Details
National Alliance on Mental Illness

NAMI is the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the nation's largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness. NAMI, NAMI State Organizations and hundreds of local NAMI Affiliates advocate for access to services, treatment, supports and research and are committed to raising awareness and building a community of hope for all of those in need.

Last Updated: 6 Apr 2015

View Details

 

General Support Organizations

Not finding the support you need? Show General Support Organizations

 
 
Top

How do you compare to others with this condition?

Privately answer questions about your health. Let resources, you select, come to you.

Anonymously share and see how your answers compare with others with this condition while privately providing key pieces of information to medical researchers, disease advocacy groups, and others ONLY YOU select to help speed up cures and better alternatives.

 
 

Advocacy and Support Organizations

 

Condition Specific Organizations

Following organizations serve the condition "Mental illness" for support, advocacy or research.

Logo
everyminute.org

everyminute.org is a grassroots campaign uniting advocates, mental health professionals and organizations into a single coalition creating a public forum advancing the need and benefit of increased mental health research.

http://www.everyminute.org

Last Updated: 25 Mar 2013

View Details
Logo
Mental Health America

Mental Health America is dedicated to promoting mental health, preventing mental disorders and achieving victory over mental illness through advocacy, education, research and service.

http://www.nmha.org

Last Updated: 24 Nov 2009

View Details
National Alliance on Mental Illness

NAMI is the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the nation's largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness. NAMI, NAMI State Organizations and hundreds of local NAMI Affiliates advocate for access to services, treatment, supports and research and are committed to raising awareness and building a community of hope for all of those in need.

http://www.nami.org

Last Updated: 6 Apr 2015

View Details

 

General Support Organizations

Not finding the support you need? Show General Support Organizations

 
 
 
 
Top

General Resources

About Mental Illness

An online resource discussing basic information for families and individuals about mental illness.

Updated 29 Jan 2013

Go To URL
 
 
Top

Scientific Literature

Articles from the PubMed Database

Research articles describe the outcome of a single study. They are the published results of original research.
The terms "Mental illness" returned 930 free, full-text research articles on human participants. First 3 results:

[A new dawn for psychiatry: focus on early detection and prevention of severe mental illness].
 

Author(s): L Wunderink

Journal: Tijdschr Psychiatr. 2015 ;57(11):782-4.

 

Last Updated: 10 Nov 2015

Go To URL
Serious mental illness and disrupted caregiving for children: a nationwide, register-based cohort study.
 

Author(s): Anne Ranning, Thomas Munk Laursen, Anne Thorup, Carsten Hjorthøj, Merete Nordentoft

Journal: J Clin Psychiatry. 2015 Aug;76(8):e1006-14.

 

To study how often severe psychiatric disorders adversely affect a person's ability to be a parent, indicated by the child being placed in out-of-home care.

Last Updated: 4 Sep 2015

Go To URL
Mental illness, challenging behaviour, and psychotropic drug prescribing in people with intellectual disability: UK population based cohort study.
 

Author(s): Rory Sheehan, Angela Hassiotis, Kate Walters, David Osborn, André Strydom, Laura Horsfall

Journal:

 

To describe the incidence of recorded mental illness and challenging behaviour in people with intellectual disability in UK primary care and to explore the prescription of psychotropic drugs in this group.

Last Updated: 2 Sep 2015

Go To URL

Reviews from the PubMed Database

Review articles summarize what is currently known about a disease. They discuss research previously published by others.
The terms "Mental illness" returned 118 free, full-text review articles on human participants. First 3 results:

Smoking cessation and reduction in people with chronic mental illness.
 

Author(s): Jennifer W Tidey, Mollie E Miller

Journal:

 

The high prevalence of cigarette smoking and tobacco related morbidity and mortality in people with chronic mental illness is well documented. This review summarizes results from studies of smoking cessation treatments in people with schizophrenia, depression, anxiety disorders, and ...

Last Updated: 22 Sep 2015

Go To URL
Sexual health risk reduction interventions for people with severe mental illness: a systematic review.
 

Author(s): Abdullah Pandor, Eva Kaltenthaler, Agnes Higgins, Karen Lorimer, Shubulade Smith, Kevan Wylie, Ruth Wong

Journal:

 

Despite variability in sexual activity among people with severe mental illness, high-risk sexual behavior (e.g. unprotected intercourse, multiple partners, sex trade and illicit drug use) is common. Sexual health risk reduction interventions (such as educational and behavioral interventions, ...

Last Updated: 18 Apr 2015

Go To URL
Screening for cardiovascular risk factors in adults with serious mental illness: a review of the evidence.
 

Author(s): Julia B Baller, Emma E McGinty, Susan T Azrin, Denise Juliano-Bult, Gail L Daumit

Journal:

 

Adults with serious mental illness have a mortality rate two to three times higher than the overall US population, much of which is due to somatic conditions, especially cardiovascular disease. Given the disproportionately high prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors in the population ...

Last Updated: 18 Apr 2015

Go To URL
 
 
Top

Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment

There are currently no related results available in GeneReviews.

There are currently no related results available in Genetic Testing Registry.

 
 
Top

Clinical Trial Information This information is provided by ClinicalTrials.gov

Project Wellness Enhancement: Increasing Health Care Choice and Outcomes for People With Mental Illness
 

Status: Recruiting

Condition Summary: Mental Health Wellness 1; Mental Illnesses; Other Diagnoses, Comorbidities, and Complications | Patient

 

Last Updated: 7 Oct 2014

Go to URL
Reduction of Cardiovascular Risk in Severe Mental Illness
 

Status: Recruiting

Condition Summary: Severe Mental Illness; Schizophrenia; Bipolar Disorder; Affective Disorders; Schizoaffective Disorder; Personality Disorder

 

Last Updated: 13 Aug 2010

Go to URL
Parentification Among Children Whose Parents Cope With a Serious Mental Illness
 

Status: Recruiting

Condition Summary: Mental Illness

 

Last Updated: 2 Feb 2012

Go to URL