SummaryRead the full fact sheet
- Mental illness is a general term for a group of illnesses that may impact on a person's thoughts, perceptions, feelings and behaviours.
- Mental health issues and illnesses can affect working and personal relationships.
- Counselling, medication, or both can help you treat mental illness.
Mental illness is a general term for a group of illnesses that may include symptoms that can affect a person’s thinking, perceptions, mood or behaviour. Mental illness can make it difficult for someone to cope with work, relationships and other demands.
The relationship between and mental illness is complex, but it is known that stress can worsen an episode of mental illness. Most people can manage their mental illness with medication, counselling or both. This page lists some of the more common mental health issues and mental illnesses.
Anxiety disorders are a group of mental health disorders that includes:
Untreated, anxiety disorders can lead to significant impairment on people’s daily lives.
Behavioural and emotional disorders in children
Common behaviour disorders in children include:
Treatment for these mental health disorders can include therapy, education and medication.
Bipolar affective disorder
Bipolar affective disorder is a type of mood disorder, previously referred to as ‘manic depression’. A person with bipolar disorder experiences episodes of mania (elation) and . The person may or may not experience psychotic symptoms. The exact cause is unknown, but a genetic predisposition has been clearly established. Environmental stressors can also trigger episodes of this mental illness.
Depression is a mood disorder characterised by lowering of mood, loss of interest and enjoyment, and reduced energy. It is not just feeling sad. There are different types and symptoms of depression. There are varying levels of severity and symptoms related to depression. Symptoms of depression can lead to increased risk of .
Dissociation and dissociative disorders
Dissociation is a mental process where a person disconnects from their thoughts, feelings, memories or sense of identity. Dissociative disorders include dissociative amnesia, depersonalisation disorder and dissociative identity disorder.
Obsessive compulsive disorder
Paranoia is the irrational and persistent feeling that people are ‘out to get you’. Paranoia may be a symptom of conditions including paranoid personality disorder, delusional (paranoid) disorder and .
Treatment for paranoia includes medications and psychological support.
Post-traumatic stress disorder
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that can develop as a response to people who have experienced any traumatic event. This can be a car or other serious accident, physical or sexual assault, war-related events or torture, or natural disasters such as bushfires or floods.
People affected by psychosis can experience delusions, hallucinations and confused thinking. Psychosis can occur in a number of mental illnesses, including drug-induced psychosis, and mood disorders. Medication and psychological support can relieve, or even eliminate, psychotic symptoms.
Schizophrenia is a complex psychotic disorder characterised by disruptions to thinking and emotions, and a distorted perception of reality. Symptoms of schizophrenia vary widely but may include hallucinations, delusions, thought disorder, social withdrawal, lack of motivation and impaired thinking and memory.