We can all be "sad" or "depressed" at times in our lives. We've all seen movies about the crazy and the crazy things they do, like crime sprees, with the underlying cause of mental illness. Sometimes we even make jokes about people being crazy, even though we know we must not. We've all had some exposure to mental illness, but do we really understand or know what it is? Many of our concepts are unfounded, generating prejudices.
A mental illness can be defined as a health condition that changes a person's (or all three) thinking, feelings or behavior and causes the person distress and difficulty functioning. As with many illnesses, mental illness is severe in some cases and mild in others. Individuals with mental illness do not necessarily appear to be ill, especially if it is a mild psychopathology. Other individuals may experience more overt symptoms such as confusion, agitation, or withdrawal, making their lives dysfunctional.
There are many different mental illnesses, including depression, schizophrenia, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Each disease alters a specific person's thoughts, feelings and/or behaviors in different ways. This way, we seek in this article to understand what happens in the brain of a person with a mental disorder.
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