Mental Illness Facts Mental illness is very common. Psychiatric emergencies are rare but when they occur, it is very likely that law enforcement will be called upon to intervene. Treatment for mental illness is effective. Most persons suffering from mental illness are not receiving treatment. Ignorance about mental illness leads to discrimination and social stigma. 1 What Causes Mental Illness? Genetics o Vulnerability o Biochemical change Environmental factors:
o traumatic events o stressors 2 Mental Illness is Common Mental illness is more common than cancer, diabetes or heart disease. (NIMH, 1999) 1 in every 5 adults in America will experience a mental illness 1 in 25 adults in America live with a serious mental illness o 50% of chronic mental illness begins by the age of 14 o 75% of chronic mental illness begins by the age of 24 3 Psychosis
Psychosis: o 1 out of 100 people will experience an episode o Refers to difficulty in differentiating reality from fantasy. o Symptom, not an illness May accompany Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder, Psychosis NOS, Paranoia, post-partum depression, other psychiatric and medical illnesses o May be substance/medication-induced Symptoms are the physiological response to the substance and may cease after removal of the agent. o Psychotic disorders can be the direct consequence of a medical condition o Most people report psychosis as frightening and 4 confusing Schizophrenia 1.1% Americans live with schizophrenia
Interferes with the ability to think clearly, manage emotions, make decisions and relate to others Age of Onset: Men: Late teens, early 20s Women: Late 20s, early 30s Rare in person younger than 12 or older than 40
Affects men and women equally Can be difficult to identify in youth due to typical issues i.e. change of friends, drop in grades, sleep problems and irritability. 5 Bipolar Disorder 2.9% of Americans live with bipolar disorder Formerly known as manic-depressive disorder o Average age of onset is 25 o Individual will experience major depressive and manic episode(s) Depressive Episode o 5+ symptoms present for at least 2 weeks Manic Episode o 3+ symptoms are present for at least 1 week
6 Mania Racing thoughts Increased irritability Easily distracted Increased goaldirected activity and energy Excessive involvement in activities that have high potential for painful consequences (financially, sexually, etc) Period of abnormally
elevated, euphoric mood Inflated self-esteem Decreased need for sleep More talkative than usual or pressure to keep talking Increased risk of suicide attempts 7 What is anxiety? 18.1% of Americans live with an anxiety disorder Physical Symptoms Pounding or racing heart and shortness of breath Upset stomach (frequent urination or diarrhea
Sweating, tremors and twitches Headaches, fatigue, insomnia Emotional Symptoms Feelings of apprehension or dread Feeling of tense and jumpy Restlessness or irritability Anticipating the worst and watching for signs of danger 8 For More Information NAMI National Alliance on Mental Illness
Mission: To provide hope and improve the quality of life for those whose lives are affected by mental illness, by providing information and referrals, education, support, advocacy, and active community outreach. Contact: NAMI CHICAGO 1536 W. Chicago Avenue 312-563-0445 www.namichicago.org [email protected] 9
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