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 young woman looks disengaged as her partner speaks to her. He has his hand gently rested on her arm.
Handling Emotional Detachment Issues
Depressed asian woman sitting on sofa holding a cushion
Disenfranchised Grief Examples: Coping Through Silent Grief
reward chart
What Is Operant Conditioning?
female professional in panic holding head in hands in front of laptop
Executive Dysfunction: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment
An adult woman hugging a teen girl in a support group.
The Effects of Drug Addiction on the Brain and Body
Supportive women hug while attending a group therapy session
What Are Peer Support Specialists?
A man and woman hug each other at a peer support group.
What Is Drug Addiction?
Woman holding yellow flowers in cemetery
Suicide Grief
A man in a suit and tie looks admiringly at himself in a hotel room mirror.
Narcissistic Personality Disorder Types
A woman sitting on the floor playing with a toy tower of rings with her teen daughter.
What Is Developmental Psychology?
A man working on a laptop anxiously checks his watch.
What Is Fear of Time (Chronophobia)?
A male patient in a hospital gown looks up at a physician in scrubs, who is holding a tablet and explaining something in a doctor's office.
What Is Fear of Getting Sick (Nosophobia)?
Woman feeling excluded by colleagues
What Is the Link Between Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria and ADHD?
woman in distress at kitchen table
What You Need To Know About Intermittent Explosive Disorder
Woman contemplating
What Are the Most Common Mental Health Disorders?
What is Boundary Setting?
How to Set Healthy Boundaries
Nail biting
How to Stop Nail Biting
Businesswomen working in modern office - stock photo
Why Fidgeting Isn’t Just an ADHD Symptom
Happy woman in the park
How Do You Increase Serotonin?
Smiling woman assisting friend while exercising on mat in public park - stock photo
Self-Care Is a Trendy Buzzword, but What Exactly Is Self-Care?
Couple's feet sticking out from under duvet in bed
Hypersexuality Disorder
depression suicide
Suicidal Ideation: Symptoms, Treatment & Management
A man sits on a couch using hand gestures as he speaks to another person who is out of the frame except for their hands.
What Are Social Cues?
upset young boy tired mother
An Overview of Mental Health Respite Care
Boy pointing at colorful day activity cards.
What Is a Developmental Psychologist?
Side portrait of young woman with eyes closed inhaling fresh air, against sunset in the sky
How Can I Relax?
hypersexuality in women
Nymphomania and Hypersexuality
Close up of loving daughter comfort depressed mom
Coping with Mother's Day Grief
What's The Difference Between a Stigma and a Stereotype?
Illustration of pill/capsule
Effexor XR (Venlafaxine) - Oral: Uses, Side Effects, Dosages
Vain man looking in the mirror
What Are the Differences: Bipolar vs. Narcissistic Personality Disorder?
Woman touching the wedding ring on her finger nervously while having coffee and waiting in cafe.
Working Through Divorce Grief
Illustration of pills/capsules
Luvox (Fluvoxamine) Oral: Uses, Side Effects, Dosages
Illustration of pills/capsule
Latuda (Lurasidone) Oral: Uses, Side Effects, Dosages
Illustration of pills/medicine
Lexapro (Escitalopram) Oral: Uses, Side Effects, Dosages
gambling disorder
What Is Gambling Disorder?
self-confidence black male folded arms
How to Build Self-Confidence
Illustration of oral medication/pills
Xanax (Alprazolam) Oral: Uses, Side Effects, Dosages
Sad Woman Sitting On Bed At Home
What Is Dysphoric Mood?
A golden retriever dog is wearing an animal harness to indicate it is a service dog.
Psychiatric Service Dog: Benefits, Requirements, Training
Illustration of pills/medicine
Remeron (Mirtazapine) Oral: Uses, Side Effects, Dosages
Illustration of oral medication/pills
Prozac (Fluoxetine) Oral: Uses, Side Effects, Dosages
Lying in bed awake
What Is the Link Between Mental Health and Sleep Disorders?
Frustrated female computer programmer with head in hands sitting in creative office
What Is Psychological Stress?
Female Suicide with medicine tablet
What Is Suicide?
self-esteem mental health
What Is Self-Esteem?
Woman comforts child under a table
What's the Difference Between Autism and Bipolar?
Gray-haired woman appears confused and doctor has hand on her shoulder
Anosognosia: Definition, Symptoms, Causes, Treatment
Mature adult therapist listens to mid adult male client
What Is Psychology?
Woman talking to therapist
What Is the DSM-5?
Teenage boy looking through the window at home
What Is Self-Harm?
Seated woman in workout clothes with palms pressed together and eyes closed facing a window
What Is Meditation?
Boy plays video game online and sits in front of two big computer monitors.
Internet Gaming Disorder: Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment
Man looking distressed on edge of bed
What Is Psychogenic Erectile Dysfunction?
woman feeling depressed
What Is Conversion Disorder?
Sad woman suffering from depression
What Is a Mental Illness?
mood swings
What Causes Extreme Mood Swings and How to Manage Them
a woman sitting with her arms crossed
How to Retrain Your Thinking And Stop Catastrophizing
Two people talking and listening intently
How Anger Management Improves Your Life
A digital illustration of a COVID virus particle in a circle with data points surrounding it.
Shock Therapy: Process, Preparation, Outcomes and more
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.