Mental Illness

By , Nicholasville, KY
Mental illnesses are medical conditions that disrupt a person’s thinking, feeling, mood, ability to relate to others and daily functioning. Says the National Alliance of Mental Illness. Mental illness is just as real as any physical illness. Just as important as physical health is, so it mental health. Like diabetes is a disorder of the pancreas, mental illnesses are real medical conditions. Mental illnesses cause pain to the person, just like a physical disease such as diabetes or hypertension, and if not treated could be catastrophic of the coping the person will face with the daily demands of life.


People with mental illness are not just “faking it” or “crazy”. People with mental illness need to be taken seriously and others need to understand the amount of pain a mental illness can have on a person. Of course, you will never fully understand what having a serious mental illness feels like unless you yourself have had one. But people need to understand and respect those with mental illness and instead of calling them “crazy” to get them help with psychotherapy, medications, or other treatments. And to understand it’s not an act, and depression is just more than a “bad mood”.

Mental illness can affect anyone of any age, race, religion, or gender. Mental illnesses can happen by a traumatic experience in one’s life, or people can be born with it. Mental illnesses are not the result of personal weakness, or lack of character. Mental illness cannot be overcome through “will power” and are not related to the person’s character or intelligence. Most people diagnosed with a serious mental illness can find relief from their symptoms by actively participating in an individual treatment plan. Without treatment the consequences of mental illness for the individual and society are staggering: unemployment, substance abuse, homelessness, and suicidal thoughts or actions.

Serious mental illnesses include major depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety disorders, social anxiety disorders, eating disorders, addiction, personality and tic disorders (Tourettes syndrome). And even though mental illness is a widespread in the population, 1 in every 17 American’s live with a serious mental disorder. The National Institute of Mental Heath reports that one in four adults-approximately 57.7 million- American’s and other countries experience or have a mental disorder. And The World Health Organization has reported that four out of ten of the leading causes for disability in the US are mental disorders.

But not every person who suffers from a mental illness need to be put in a straight jacket and sent to an asylum. Most people with a mental illness seek therapy and/or medication, and though may be difficult, are able to live and cope from day to day. Many famous actors, artist, authors, and great thinkers have suffered from mental illness. Famous actress Brooke Shields has suffered from post-partum depression, and actress Catherine Zeta-Jones faces bipolar. Despite their illnesses, these ladies have managed to shine up on the big screen and on the stage. Isaac Newton and famous Dutch painter Vincent Van Gough both suffered from bipolar disorder. Artist like Van Gough, and author Sylvia Plath and playwright Eugene O’Neill (who both suffered from depression and suicidal thoughts) were able to create beautiful works of art and words. So if a person suffers from a mental illness their hope and help. And never feel that you can’t create beautiful things into the world. Because you can.





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