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What is Mental Illness and how do you know you have it?

What is Mental Illness and how do you know you have it?

Hello Sugarfoot! I see your back again to continue our path to breaking down a BLOCKAGE in our Community! We have slowly started to come out of our World Wide Timeout, but we are still in the midst of it all. Last week we discussed the factors of mental health, now we discuss mental illness and how that is different from mental health. As always, I hope, that by giving you knowledge about the different aspects of Mental health, it will be less heavy on your minds moving forward. So, let’s go!

Mental Illness?

Mental illnesses are conditions that affect a person’s thinking, feeling, mood, or behavior, such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia. Such conditions may be occasional or long-lasting (chronic) and affect someone’s ability to relate to others and function each day.

There is no single cause for mental illness. A number of factors can contribute to risk for mental illness, such as

  • Early adverse life experiences, such as trauma or a history of abuse (for example, child abuse, sexual assault, witnessing violence, etc.)
  • Experiences related to other ongoing (chronic) medical conditions such as cancer or diabetes.
  • Biological factors, such as genes or chemical imbalances in the brain
  • Use of alcohol or recreational drugs
  • Having few friends
  • Having feelings of loneliness or isolation

Mental illnesses are among the most common health conditions in the United States.

  • More than 50% will be diagnosed with a mental illness or disorder at some point in their lifetime.3
  • 1 in 5 Americans will experience a mental illness in a given year.4
  • 1 in 5 children, either currently or at some point during their life, have had a seriously debilitating mental illness.5
  • 1 in 25 Americans lives with a serious mental illness, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or major depression.


Thank you for reading this week. A quote for this week: “My dark days made me stronger. Or maybe I was strong and they made me prove it.” ~Emery Lord. Please let me know below how you will work with Mental Health this week, and if you use any of the methods I listed in my first post to relax. You can also join BGH to learn more about Mental Health here:

If you would like to educate yourself on different mental health topics, then visit an online information service, produced by the National Library of Medicine where consumers can view the latest health articles and content. If you are a consumer interested in reading medical publications such as journals, dictionaries, or even blog then go to website of the National Library of Medicine.

Aliza Bolling
Aliza Bolling

A soon-to-be Graduate of THE Xavier University of Louisiana. Aliza is a Public Health Sciences Major, hoping to get into Healthcare Admin, Health Policy and Epidemiology in her career as a future Public Health Leader.

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