Spend any time in the world of mental illness and one word that will probably come up most often is complex. For those struggling with mental illness, it’s a complex issue to manage and to talk about, impacting everything from career to physical health.
It’s a complex issue for those who want to help. It can exhaust family members and loved ones who might be the only support system, and it can impact co-workers who sincerely want to help but just don’t know how.
And it’s a complex issue for society to deal with, impacting communities, hospitals, schools, and even jails.
For Those With Mental Illness
For the 1 in 5 Americans struggling with mental health issues, the consequences can be debilitating and devastating. Mental illness can impact work, career, and financial health. It impacts marriages, relationships, and families. It harms self-confidence and self-esteem. It can lead to complex physical health issues and it’s the main cause of suicide.
For Family And Loved Ones
Often the invisible victims of mental illness are family and loved ones. It can be challenging, exhausting, heartbreaking trying to support a loved one who’s dealing with mental illness, and especially if it’s severe, chronic, and long-lasting. For many, there’s no medical or professional help available, and treatment can be costly.
More than 8 million adults provide unpaid care to family members who suffer from a mental illness, spending an average of 32 hours a week providing care.
For The Workplace
Mental illness is now the #1 reported workplace disability in the world. It costs the global economy more than $10 trillion annually and costs US businesses and workplaces more than $200 billion annually. It impacts everything from productivity and performance to workplace harmony and healthcare costs.
The Different Types Of Mental Illness
There are nearly a dozen recognized mental illnesses, from anxiety and depression, to bipolar disorder, PTSD, and schizophrenia. They can have a mild impact on some victims, and on others, almost completely debilitating.
Most mental illnesses are thought to originate from some common sources, and usually genetics and family history, brain chemistry and wiring, and personal experiences and life events.
Mental illness is a complex subject, and in other articles and videos on this site we’ll explore each of the recognized mental illnesses in much greater detail. Including conversations with victims, their families, and mental health professionals.
- Of the nearly a dozen different types of mental illness, anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder are the most common. Anxiety is thought to impact nearly 40 million Americans and includes generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, and specific phobias.
- Depression is the leading cause of workplace disability and impacts around 16 million Americans. It’s also believed to be the #1 cause of suicide.
- Bipolar disorder (formerly called manic depression) can cause unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, concentration, and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks. It affects about 1% of the population.
Other mental illnesses include Schizophrenia, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder or OCD, PTSD, ADD and ADHD, personality disorders (such as antisocial or paranoid behavior), and dissociative disorder (formerly known as multiple personality disorder or split personality.)