What is Mental Illness?

Mental illness affects about 25% of Americans.

It just seems like a basic question anyone should be able to answer right?  Depending who you ask, someone might start by rattling off contributing factors linked with mental illness such as chemical imbalances within the brain, harmful significant relationships, genetics, or even drug use.  By the time they are done giving their definition and circumstances surrounding mental health, chances are there has already been some type of bias or stigma attached to people with mental illness: they’re weak, didn’t have loving parents, and they’re too emotional.  This is so unfortunate.

At the PTI, we’re here to help educate and provide treatment for mental illness, whether it’s long term or short term, and to provide a nurturing environment for you to overcome obstacles and achieve your goals in life.

What Causes Mental Illness?

Mental illness is defined by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) as “a medical condition that disrupts a person’s thinking, feeling, mood, ability to relate to others and daily functioning.”

Even to this day, researchers are continuing to unlock the exact causes of mental illness, many of which are still a mystery.  Typically, many of the root causes are found in a combination of biological, psychological, and environmental factors.  Other factors include serious illness, trauma, brain injury, substance abuse, prenatal damage, and even poor nutrition habits.

As of 2005, about 1 in 4 adult Americans experience mental illness per year, however, only 6% of the adult population suffers from what is called a “serious mental illness.”  Serious mental illnesses include schizophrenia/ schizoaffective, bipolar, clinical depression, PTSD, panic disorder, and borderline personality disorder (BPD).

It’s also important to realize that although the clinical definitions include terms such as “disorder” that it doesn’t mean there is a value judgment placed on the person who is diagnosed with mental illness.  Just because someone has Post Traumatic Stress (PTS) does not mean that “there’s something wrong with that guy,” any more than saying someone has a serious illness which can be treated.  Sometimes you will see people intentionally leave off the word “disorder” when speaking of PTS and other mental illnesses.

If you have more questions about mental illness, treatment, or just want more information please don’t hesitate to give us a call.  At PTI, we specialize in having all the mental health care that you need under one roof so that you can get the best care possible.