Mental Health

Mental disorders affect thinking, emotions, and behaviors. They are often associated with distress and trouble functioning in social, work, or other daily activities. 

They are common. It was estimated that one in five American adults experienced mental illness in 2019 and one in 20 had a serious mental disorder.

There are many different types of mental disorders, including anxiety disorders, mood disorders, personality disorders, eating disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, and psychotic disorders. 

Many factors can contribute to the risk of mental disorders. Genetics, life experiences, and biological factors can all play a role. There is no single cause.

Effective treatment for mental disorders generally involve a combination of medications, psychotherapy, and social support and education. These treatment options can help you live well and manage your symptoms.

Key Terms

A POC woman standing at the sink with her back to the camera; a POC toddler is clutching her leg and holding a teddy bear.
How Is Separation Anxiety Diagnosed?
Sad and depressed small girl with therapist sitting indoors, psychotherapy. - stock photo
How Is Separation Anxiety Treated?
Young, Black patient speaking with her pediatrician in a doctor’s office
How Rumination Disorder Is Treated
cute little kid looking sad not wanting to eat with dad encouraging to eat
How Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder Is Diagnosed
Sad teen woman in deep sorrow sitting outside
What Are Affective (Mood) Disorders?
Toddler girl turning head away refusing to eat
How Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID) Is Treated
person speaking to mental health professional
How Persistent Depressive Disorder Is Treated
A woman sits on the kitchen floor at night eating donuts.
How Binge Eating Disorder Is Treated
A man holding a badminton racket sits on a chair surrounded by clutter.
How Hoarding Disorder Is Treated
binge eating
How Binge Eating Disorder Is Diagnosed
A young woman stands speaking in front of a group of seated people in a group therapy setting.
How Bulimia Is Treated
A man sits among empty chairs and thinks before a group therapy session.
How Generalized Anxiety Disorder Is Treated
A senior woman in her 60s at home, sitting in a messy, cluttered room, looking away with a serious expression.
How Is Hoarding Disorder Diagnosed?
A young female patient is sitting across from her therapist, who is taking notes.
How Generalized Anxiety Disorder Is Diagnosed
eating disorder treatment
How Anorexia Is Treated
Sweaty, blond haired woman having a rest after hard workout on a sports field.
How Bulimia Is Diagnosed
woman sitting alone at home
How Persistent Depressive Disorder Is Diagnosed
young woman on couch during counseling session
How Orthorexia Is Treated
Young woman talks to attentive therapist
How Is Phobia Treated?
Woman in nutrition store comparing grain products on shelves looking anxious
How Orthorexia is Diagnosed
A thin woman with long hair is out of focus in the background. In the foreground, a therapist takes notes on paper.
How Anorexia Is Diagnosed
Woman at home during COVID-19 pandemic is looking through window
How Is Phobia Diagnosed?
Pregnancy depression
What Is Antepartum Depression?
Mature adult therapist listens to mid adult male client
How Social Anxiety Is Treated
man sitting at home, eating burgers, and watching a sports match alone
What Is Disordered Eating?
Man standing and looking inside open fridge
Causes of Polyphagia
woman binge eating
What Does It Mean to Binge?
A young blond haired girl meets with a therapist to discuss her struggles, addictions, and mental wellbeing. She is dressed casually in a denim jacket and has an angry expression on her face as she looks away from the therapist and ignores her. The therapist is wearing a white lab coat and has her back toward the camera.
How Addiction Is Diagnosed
psychosis causes
What Causes Psychosis?
sad woman looking out window
PTSD Diagnosis: Tests, Screening, and Criteria
Businesswoman laughing reaction in office team meeting
Histrionic Personality Disorder: Definition, Traits, Causes, Treatment
Customer showing prescription to female doctor
How Schizophrenia Is Treated
Businesswoman peering through window blinds
Paranoia: Characteristics, Types, Causes, Diagnosis
Psychology therapy session
How Schizophrenia Is Diagnosed
woman looking up at sky
How PTSD Is Treated
Patient having consultation with doctor or psychiatrist working on diagnostic examination in medical clinic or hospital
How Depression Is Diagnosed
Frustrated young woman talking with her doctor.
What Are Delusions?
A middle-aged woman eating while sitting at a computer
What Is Binge Eating Disorder?
Sad woman suffering from depression
What Is a Mental Illness?
woman with eyes closed
Symptoms of Schizoaffective Disorder
paranoid schizophrenia symptoms
Signs and Symptoms of Paranoid Schizophrenia
Doctor holding hands of patient in hospital room
How Depression Is Treated
Woman eating pizza and drinking wine in front of the refrigerator during the night
What Is Bulimia Nervosa?
Mental health professional talking to client
How Bipolar Disorder Is Diagnosed
Anorexic teenager
Anorexia Nervosa: Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment
Man making different facial expressions
Personality Disorders: Types and Characteristics
schizophrenia test
What Is a Schizophrenia Test?
A woman covers her ears while screaming
What Is Psychosis?
worried woman
How Panic Disorder Is Diagnosed
Stressed woman
How Panic Disorder Is Treated
Light box treatment for seasonal affective disorder
How Seasonal Affective Disorder Is Treated
Young man looking thoughtful at his desk in a classroom at university
Using Vyvanse for ADHD and Binge Eating Disorder
A woman with long brown hair sits on a bed, looking at the pill she is holding in one hand, while holding a glass of water in the other.
Medications for Schizophrenia
Depressed man drinking hard liquor at home
What Is Addiction?
Two people hugging
When Your Loved One Has Bipolar Disorder
Girl Alone
How Social Anxiety Disorder Is Diagnosed
worried woman
How Anxiety Disorder Is Diagnosed
Woman sitting
How an Anxiety Disorder Is Treated
Child doing math homework
How Is ADHD Treated?
Woman sitting at restaurant table looking down in contemplation at a cup of water, a croissant, and coffee in front of her.
How an Eating Disorder Is Diagnosed
Page Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. National Alliance on Mental Health. Mental health by the numbers. Updated March 2021.

  2. MedlinePlus. Mental disorders. Updated May 4, 2021.

  3. American Psychiatric Association. DSM-5: Frequently asked questions.

  4. American Psychiatric Association. What is posttraumatic stress disorder? Updated August 2020.

  5. National Institute of Mental Health. Borderline personality disorder. Updated December 2017.