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Serious mental illnesses are medical conditions that disrupt a person’s thinking, feeling, mood, ability to relate to others and their daily functioning. They are medical conditions that often result in a diminished capacity for coping with the ordinary demands of life and include major depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder and borderline personality disorder.
Mental illnesses are biologically based medical problems, just like diabetes, cancer or heart disease, but in fact, more common. They can affect anyone, regardless of age, ethnic, social or educational background.
The occurrence of mental illness is uniform in countries worldwide. In Mobile, the community mental health provider, AltaPointe Health Systems, provides care for more than 15,000 children, adolescents and adults annually while many others have private insurance and countless more go untreated entirely.
The good news about mental illnesses is recovery is possible and treatment works! Along with active participation in their treatment plan, the free education and support programs NAMI provides for both the individuals and family members play a critical role in the recovery process.