Millions of Americans live their lives with a mental illness. For this month, we bring awareness to those who are not aware of what a mental illness is. It is very important that we take care of our mental health because it can affect how we act, how we think and how we feel about certain situations. In addition to that, it helps us handle the stress in our lives, make important decisions, and relate to others.

Statistics

One in five Americans are affected by multiple mental health conditions. That said, the stigma keeps people from asking for help and it can make them stay silent about whatever it is that they may be struggling with.

In more severe cases, the stigma can also take lives.

If you notice that you are experiencing any mental problems, your thinking, mood and behavior can easily be affected. There are many factors that can lead to someone having mental problems. These factors include any biological factors (genes and brain chemistry). In addition, life experiences such as trauma and abuse can lead to mental health problems. Family history is also something to consider.

There are many early warning signs that can be seen if you or someone else that you know has a mental health condition. These warning signs include eating or sleeping too much or too little, distancing yourself from people, having no energy, constantly smoking, drinking and doing drugs.

In addition, you may experience mood swings and thoughts of harming yourself or others. These are just some of the many warning signs.

Common disorders

When people are diagnosed with mental conditions, they can be diagnosed with multiple disorders depending on their warning signs and the experiences that they have gone through.

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Some of the most common mental health conditions that many people are diagnosed with include bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety disorders, eating disorders and schizophrenia. All of these conditions come with different symptoms and different treatments that can help a person recover.

Bipolar disorder is a mental condition that is caused by a number of serious mood swings.

With this condition, someone can experience highs and lows and the episodes normally last for only a few hours to a few days. Depression is another common disorder and is diagnosed when someone is feeling sad or depressed for weeks or even months. An eating disorder normally comes about when someone is dieting to try and stay thin. Schizophrenia is diagnosed when someone is experiencing hallucinations and delusions. In addition, a person with schizophrenia sometimes has a hard time distinguishing between their internal and external reality. Anxiety disorders are often diagnosed when someone is feeling anxious or any kind of fear. What makes this different from a normal anxiety attack is that this anxiety gets worse over time.

The proper treatment for all of these common disorders is to take different kinds of medications to reduce symptoms, and go to either Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or Psychotherapy. With the treatment that is out there for those with mental health conditions, individuals can recover and live functional lives.

What can we do to ensure that we are mentally healthy?

When someone is mentally healthy, it allows them to reach their full potential, find ways to cope with stress, and be productive. In order to maintain this, one can seek professional help if needed, stay positive, be physically active, get a good amount of sleep, and develop coping skills.

This month, we should not only bring awareness to those around us regarding mental health, but we should educate those who do not know what a mental illness is and teach them what to do to end the stigma.