The common mental illnesses we see are depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and other psychoses, dementia, and developmental disorders including autism.

Schizophrenia is a severe and debilitating brain and behavior disorder affecting how one thinks, feels and acts. People with schizophrenia can have trouble distinguishing reality from fantasy, expressing and managing normal emotions and making decisions. Thought processes may also be disorganized and the motivation to engage in life’s activities may be blunted. Those with the condition may hear imaginary voices and believe others are reading their minds, controlling their thoughts or plotting to harm them.

Positive symptoms, which can be severe or mild, include delusions, hallucinations and thought disorders.
Negative symptoms reflect a loss of functioning in areas such as emotion or motivation. Negative symptoms include loss or reduction in the ability to initiate plans, speak, express emotion or find pleasure in life. They include emotional flatness or lack of expression, diminished ability to begin and sustain a planned activity, social withdrawal and apathy. These symptoms can be mistaken for laziness or depression.
Cognitive symptoms involve problems with attention and memory, especially in planning and organizing to achieve a goal.

Schizophrenia affects men and women equally. It occurs at similar rates in all ethnic groups around the world. Symptoms such as hallucinations and delusions usually start between ages 16 and 30.
Men tend to experience symptoms earlier than women. Most of the time, people do not get schizophrenia after age 45. Schizophrenia rarely occurs in children, but awareness of childhood onset schizophrenia is increasing.

Paranoid schizophrenia — feelings of extreme suspicion, persecution or grandiosity, or a combination of these.
Disorganized schizophrenia — incoherent thoughts, but not necessarily delusional.
Catatonic schizophrenia — withdrawal, negative affect and isolation, and marked psychomotor disturbances.
Residual schizophrenia — delusions or hallucinations may go away, but motivation or interest in life is gone.
Schizoaffective disorder — symptoms of both schizophrenia and a major mood disorder, such as depression.

* Depressed mood most of the day, nearly every day
* Markedly diminished interest or pleasure in activities most of the day, nearly every day
* Changes in appetite that result in weight losses or gains unrelated to dieting
* Changes in sleeping patterns
* Loss of energy or increased fatigue
* Restlessness or irritability
* Feelings of anxiety
* Feelings of worthlessness, helplessness, or hopelessness
* Inappropriate guilt
* Difficulty thinking, concentrating, or making decisions
* Thoughts of death or attempts at suicide
(Sources: National Institute of Emotional Health and National Women’s Health Center.)

Bipolar disorder is a brain and behavior disorder characterized by severe shifts in a person’s mood and energy, making it difficult for the person to function.

Bipolar disorder causes repeated mood swings, or episodes, that can make someone feel very high (mania) or very low (depressive). The cyclic episodes are punctuated by normal moods.

Yes, the main difference between bipolar disorder and major clinical depression is the presence of manic episodes. This is why depression alone is not enough to diagnose an individual with bipolar. However, one manic episode (meeting DMS-IV criteria) is sufficient to make a bipolar diagnosis.

Autistic disorder, commonly referred to as autism, is the most prevalent ASD and severely impairs a child’s social interaction and communication abilities.

Social Deficits, Communication Difficulties, Repetitive Behaviors, Sensory Difficulties

Anxiety is a disorder that cause nervousness, fear, apprehension, and worrying.

1. Generalized Anxiety Disorder
2. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
3. Panic Disorder
4. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
5. Social Phobia (or Social Anxiety Disorder)

Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurobehavioral condition that interferes with a person’s ability to pay attention and exercise age-appropriate inhibition. A person with ADHD is so inattentive or impulsively hyperactive-or both-that daily functioning at home, school and work is compromised. ADHD usually becomes apparent in children during preschool and early school years.

ADHD is a neurological disorder and research indicates that it may be due to alterations in the brain and the way it functions.
The causes of these differences are not entirely known, but family and twin studies reveal ADHD is genetic. Between 10 percent and 35 percent of children with ADHD have a close relative with ADHD, and nearly half of parents who had ADHD as a child also have a child with the disorder. Studies in families of children with ADHD show that relatives are at high risk for ADHD, other psychiatric disorders and learning disabilities.