What Is A Mental Health Disorder?

A mental health disorder is a disease that causes mild to severe disturbances in thought and/or behavior, resulting in an inability to cope with life.

There are more than 200 classified forms of mental illness. Some of the more common disorders are post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and anxiety disorders. Symptoms may include changes in mood, personality, personal habits and/or social withdrawal.

 

Statistics

  • One in five American adults experienced a mental health issue
  • One in 10 young people experienced a period of major depression
  • One in 25 Americans lived with a serious mental illness, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or major depression
  • Half of all mental health disorders show first signs before a person turns 14 years old, and three quarters of mental health disorders begin before age 24.
  • Less than 20% of children and adolescents with diagnosable mental health problems receive the treatment they need.
  • Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States

 

Trauma Related Mental Health Disorders

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can occur after living through or seeing a traumatic event, such as war, rape, or physical abuse. PTSD makes you feel stressed and afraid after the danger is over.

 

Warning Signs

Adults | Teens

  • Confused thinking
  • Prolonged depression (sadness or irritability)
  • Feelings of extreme highs and lows
  • Excessive fears, worries and anxieties
  • Social withdrawal
  • Dramatic changes in eating or sleeping habits
  • Strong feelings of anger
  • Delusions
  • Hallucinations)
  • Growing inability to cope with daily problems and activities
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Numerous unexplained physical ailments
  • Substance use

 

Children

  • Inability to cope with problems and daily activities
  • Changes in sleeping and/or eating habits
  • Excessive complaints of physical ailments
  • Changes in ability to manage responsibilities – at home and/or at school
  • Defiance of authority, truancy, theft, and/or vandalism
  • Intense fear
  • Prolonged negative mood, often accompanied by poor appetite or thoughts of death
  • Frequent outbursts of anger
  • Changes in school performance
  • Changes in sleeping and/or eating habits
  • Frequent temper tantrums
  • Excessive worry or anxiety (i.e. refusing to go to bed or school)
  • Hyperactivity
  • Persistent nightmares
  • Persistent disobedience or aggression

 

Resources:

NAMI 

Mental Health First Aid

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department Community Policing Crisis Response Team