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About Mental Illness

About Mental Illness

Mental health problems are highly common and affect an estimated 54 million Americans annually. In fact, one in five adults experiences a mental health condition each year, and one in 17 suffers from a serious mental illness. However, treatment can minimize the effects of mental health issues.

Mental health problems include a wide range of illnesses and include:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Borderline Personality Disorder
  • and Schizophrenia.

Many factors contribute to mental health issues including:

  • biological influences
  • life experiences
  • trauma
  • and family history.

Sound mental health is critical throughout every stage of life in order to handle stress, make difficult decisions and relate to others.

Omni Community Health offers a wide range of services to address mental health, providing innovative, quality programs to treat and heal children, families and adults. Utilizing state-of-the-art, evidence-based approaches, Omni focuses on trauma competent care, all of which is designed to acknowledge life’s adversities, honor resiliency and empower clients to take the next step in their ongoing journey to healing.

Common Mental Health Diagnoses

While there are numerous mental health illnesses that plague millions of Americans, some are much more common than others, including depression, generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Common Children & Adolescent Diagnoses:


Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a condition in which characterized by inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity.

ADHD is most commonly diagnosed in young people, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). An estimated 9% of children between ages 3–17 have ADHD.

While ADHD is usually diagnosed in childhood, it does not only affect children. An estimated 4% of adults have ADHD.

Oppositional Defiant Disorder

In children with Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD), there is an ongoing pattern of uncooperative, defiant, and hostile behavior toward authority figures that seriously interferes with the youngster’s day to day functioning.

All children are oppositional from time to time, particularly when tired, hungry, stressed or upset. They may argue, talk back, disobey, and defy parents, teachers, and other adults. Oppositional behavior is often a normal part of development for two to three year olds and early adolescents.

However, openly uncooperative and hostile behavior becomes a serious concern when it is so frequent and consistent that it stands out when compared with other children of the same age and developmental level and when it affects the child’s social, family, and academic life.


Teen depression is a serious mental health problem that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest in activities. It affects how your teenager thinks, feels and behaves, and it can cause emotional, functional and physical problems. Although depression can occur at any time in life, symptoms may be different between teens and adults.

Issues such as peer pressure, academic expectations and changing bodies can bring a lot of ups and downs for teens. But for some teens, the lows are more than just temporary feelings — they’re a symptom of depression.

Teen depression isn’t a weakness or something that can be overcome with willpower — it can have serious consequences and requires long-term treatment.

For most teens, depression symptoms ease with treatment such as medication and psychological counseling.


Anxious feelings, worries, or fears are common among children and adolescents. Many children experience a normal amount of apprehension in certain situations, whether it is about an upcoming test at school or a thunderstorm.

Some children, however, experience these types of situations with an overwhelming sense of fear and dread. Others can’t seem to stop thinking about these situations and their accompanying fears. No amount of reassurance seems to help.

These children may tend to get “stuck” on their worried thoughts and have a hard time doing normal daily functions like going to school, playing, falling asleep, or trying new things.

Getting “stuck,” when it begins to interfere with daily functioning, is the key. This is what separates normal, fluctuating worries of childhood from an anxiety disorder that requires professional intervention.

Common Adult Diagnoses:

Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is a mental illness that causes dramatic shifts in a person’s mood, energy and ability to think clearly.

People with bipolar experience high and low moods—known as mania and depression—which differ from the typical ups-and-downs most people experience.

The average age-of-onset is about 25, but it can occur in the teens, or more uncommonly, in childhood. The condition affects men and women equally, with about 2.6% of the U.S. population diagnosed with bipolar disorder and nearly 83% of cases classified as severe.

Clinical Depression

Clinical depression is more than just feeling sad or going through a rough patch. It’s a serious mental health condition that requires understanding and medical care.

Left untreated, depression can be devastating for those who have it and their families. Fortunately, with early detection, diagnosis and a treatment plan consisting of medication, psychotherapy and healthy lifestyle choices, many people can and do get better.

Some will only experience one depressive episode in a lifetime, but for most, depressive disorder recurs. Without treatment, episodes may last a few months to several years.


Schizophrenia is a serious mental illness that interferes with a person’s ability to think clearly, manage emotions, make decisions and relate to others. It is a complex, long-term medical illness, affecting about 1% of Americans.

Although schizophrenia can occur at any age, the average age of onset tends to be in the late teens to the early 20s for men, and the late 20s to early 30s for women. It is uncommon for schizophrenia to be diagnosed in a person younger than 12 or older than 40.

It is possible to live well with schizophrenia.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Generalized anxiety disorder can be characterized by constant worry about things like work, family, health and money. Individuals who suffer from anxiety worry more than the average person, even if there is no clear reason for concern.

Generalized anxiety disorder affects 6.8 million adults (or 3.1 percent of the U.S. population) in any given year. Without treatment, those with generalized anxiety may find it hard to get through the day and spend more time worrying about various issues than not.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a chronic condition that causes one to have recurring, uncontrollable thoughts or behaviors that are constantly repeated.

Obsessions are repeated mental images or thoughts that trigger anxiety, such as fear of germs, aggressive thoughts toward oneself or others or the need to have things in perfect order. Meanwhile, compulsions are repeated actions that a person suffering from OCD feels the need to do.

Examples include: excessive cleaning, constant counting, arranging and rearranging of items a certain way, repeatedly checking things (such as if a door is locked or an appliance is turned off). The average sufferer exhibits symptoms at age 19.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is common among individuals who have experienced a traumatic event such as combat or war, a tragic accident, a natural disaster or other life-altering situation.

Those with PTSD live with the mental images and feelings related to the experience for an extended period of time after the event has occurred. Sometimes individuals develop symptoms of PTSD within months of the event; with others, it takes years for the feelings to resurface.

If any of the above describes you or a loved one, contact Omni to learn how we can provide treatment to help minimize the effects of these debilitating mental health conditions.

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