What Is Mental Illness?
Mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of. It is a medical problem, just like heart disease or diabetes.
Mental illnesses are health conditions involving changes in emotion, thinking or behavior (or a combination of these). Mental illnesses are associated with distress and/or problems functioning in social, work or family activities.
Mental illness is common. In a given year:
- nearly one in five (19 percent) U.S. adults experience some form of mental illness
- one in 24 (4.1 percent) has a serious mental illness*
- one in 12 (8.5 percent) has a diagnosable substance use