The next time you are somewhere, take a look around. Understand that 2 out of 10 people are dealing with some type of mental illness. Challenge your preconceived notions about what mentally ill people look like…instead, offer a kind smile, a caring word or just a simple understanding glance.
Some common types of mental illness
- Mood disorders involve changes and disruptions in mood and emotions. Depression and bipolar disorder are examples.
- Anxiety disorders cause people to be overly anxious about situations that others would consider normal. This is the most common type of mental disorder.
- Eating disorders involve a distorted body image along with serious (even life-threatening) behaviours to manage food and weight. These include anorexia and bulimia.
- Attention deficit (hyperactivity) disorder (ADD or ADHD) can occur in adults as well as children, affecting the ability to focus attention.
- Schizophrenia involves losing the ability to know what’s real and what isn’t (psychosis). Schizophrenics have difficulty thinking, speaking and interacting in an organized way.