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Mental illness and health has received much more attention in the past decade than it has ever received throughout history. In general, social changes have created an environment where mental illness is recognized and treated. Many people have finally been able to come out with their mental illnesses and receive help. Millions of people are affected by the top three most common mental illness categories: anxiety disorders, mood disorders, and schizophrenic or psychotic disorders. Here is some more information regarding these illnesses.

Anxiety disorders affect millions of people worldwide and include all phobias, panic attacks, obsessive-compulsive disorders (OCD), and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It is normal to feel anxious from time to time because that is a natural reaction to certain situations. However, sometimes the expression of anxiety can become excessive or inappropriate. If these reactions become difficult to control or interfere with daily functioning, there may be an anxiety disorder. Some can develop overtime or over certain experiences. Many military personnel have returned home from recent global conflicts and been diagnosed with PTSD due to the experiences they witnessed in the battlefield. These are the similar reasons why phobias may develop over time.

Mood disorders are sometimes difficult to understand for people without mood disorders. However, they can be devastating to those who are unable to feel regular moods. This includes clinical depression, bipolar disorder, and dysthymic disorder. While a unaffected person may know the difference between happy and sad, a clinically depressed person may not be able to tell the difference. Mood disorders rank very high in the causes for disability in general as well as healthcare spending overall. It can affect anyone from children to adults and should be taken very seriously! Mood disorders have often been linked to higher suicide rates and unexpected behaviors. However, there are many support groups that offer help and direction.

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