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|Learn about the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation:||Learn about obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
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Messages and information to share:
Mental Illnesses are not true medical illnesses like heart disease and diabetes. People who have a mental illness are just "crazy."
Mental illnesses, like heart disease and diabetes, are legitimate medical illnesses. Research shows there are genetic and biological causes for psychiatric disorders, and they can be treated effectively.
Depression results from a personality weakness or character flaw, and people who are depressed
could just snap out of it if they tried hard enough.
Depression has nothing to do with being lazy or weak. It results from changes in brain chemistry or brain
function, and medication and/or psychotherapy often help people to recover.
Schizophrenia means split personality, and there is no way to control it.
Schizophrenia is often confused with multiple personality disorder. Actually, schizophrenia is a brain disorder that robs people of their ability to think clearly and logically. The estimated 2.5 million Americans with schizophrenia have symptoms ranging from social withdrawal to hallucinations and delusions. Medication has helped many of these individuals to lead fulfilling, productive lives.
Mental illnesses are often life-long and difficult to treat.
So many times, individuals with a newly diagnosed illness such as depression or anxiety are told they have to take medication for it. Yet, when they question their physician about how long they must remain on the medication, they receive a mushy, non-answer, such as, "As long as you need to." Most medications (with a few notable exceptions, such as those prescribed for bipolar disorder and schizophrenia) prescribed for mental disorders should be taken for short-term (under a year) symptom relief. Some medications have withdrawal effects that are often worse than the original problem. Quiz your doctor about these issues (length of stay on medication, plan for titrating off the medication, etc.) before you are placed on any medication for a mental illness.
Did You Know...
- The average age of onset for mental illness is 14?
- More than 46% of teenagers (13-18) will experience a mental illness?
- Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) affects 4.1% of adults
- 1-in-88 children have an autism spectrum disorder