Mental illness affects so many people, and usually with varying degrees. Sure everyone has heard of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or depression. But mental illness also includes substance abuse, dementia, autism, ADHD and many others.
Nearly everyone has had a family member or friend that has suffered from one of these disorders. However, we always seem embarrassed to talk about it. I think the lack of talking about some of the disorders leads people to be undiagnosed or their problems ignored.
There are many places to find help or support groups for mental illnesses. There are groups that are for both the consumers and caregivers. My advice is to not be afraid to talk about some of these diseases. Often friends or family members do not recognize some of the symptoms unless you tell them about your experiences. And I’ve found this true for bipolar disorder, autism and depression.
In 2010, let’s not be afraid of mental illnesses, they affect 1 in 3 people. Nearly 33% of people have or have had experienced a mental illness. Our dysfunctional mental illness system is the reason that there are so many homeless and jails are over crowded.
One site I’ve found helpful is www.NAMI.org. National Alliance on Mental Illness.
There is information on just about every type of mental health problem, resources for your state, and online support groups for consumers, caregivers and others. I encourage anyone to go to the site just to learn about how mental illness affects the whole community.