In a crisis? Call or text 988

Home / Mental health and stigma / Mental health conditions

Common mental health conditions

It’s OK to have a mental health condition. Many of us do. Mental health illnesses are common. One in five people live with a mental illness. If you know five people, then you know someone, whether you realize it or not.

Recovery is possible. People do get better.

If you or someone you know is struggling with a mental health condition, you are not alone. Help and support are available.

Just like a physical illness, mental health conditions can be managed with an individualized plan that can include a combination of treatments and supports, such as:

  • Social support and a supportive environment.
  • Various therapies, including cultural therapies and practices.
  • Medications.
  • Nutrition.
  • Movement and physical activity.
  • Self-care and well-being practices (restful sleep, connecting with others, mindfulness activities and more).

Learn more about mental health conditions along with resources for care and support and stories of strength and hope.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

ADHD is seen in both children and adults, and symptoms vary depending on the person and type of ADHD. It’s a disorder characterized by difficulty focusing attention (distractable, difficulty organizing), having impulsivity (taking risks, difficulty waiting one’s turn) and, in some cases, hyperactivity (constant motion, unable to stay on task). Recovery is possible, and help is available.

Learn more

Read Alex’s story

Anxiety Disorders

Everyone can feel anxious at times. However, when feelings of fear or worry are overwhelming and interfere with doing everyday things, an anxiety disorder may be the cause. This condition can make people overestimate the likelihood of a problem and underestimate their ability to cope. In response they may seek excessive reassurance or avoid things altogether. Physically, anxiety can make the heart race, hands shake and stomach feel upset and cause trouble sleeping. Recovery is possible, and help is available.

Learn more

Read Arien’s story
Read Vic’s story

Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is a mental health condition that has episodes of depression (see below) and also episodes of mania, in which a person needs far less sleep and has far more energy than usual. In a manic episode (which can last days to months), people do more, may take dangerous risks and may talk extremely fast. Recovery is possible, and help is available. 

Learn more

Read Jehan’s story
Watch Maria’s story
Watch Melissa’s story
Watch Leah’s story

Borderline Personality Disorder

Borderline personality disorder is a mental health condition that can cause a sense of insecurity and instability in close relationships, with fears of abandonment and all-or-none views of people (“the best” or “the worst”). In reaction to these shifts, people with borderline personality disorder may have trouble regulating emotions (intense anger is common, as are dramatic shifts in emotions — including shame and self-criticism), and they may feel unstable on the inside. People with borderline personality disorder may engage in self-harm or impulsive behaviors and can frequently be misunderstood. Recovery is possible, and help is available.

Learn more

Read Mel’s story


Depression is more than just feeling sad or going through a rough time. It’s a mental health condition that affects the brain and can cause episodes (lasting weeks to months — sometimes longer) where people are unable to find enjoyment and are burdened by feelings of guilt. It can have physical symptoms, including disturbances in sleep and appetite, and it can worsen pain. Some people feel slowed down — like walking through mud — and have very low energy or interest in things. It requires understanding and medical care. Recovery is possible, and help is available.

Learn more

Watch Adam’s story

Eating Disorders

For some people, something that starts as a new diet, lifestyle change or negative self-talk turns into harmful behaviors around eating or exercise. Eating disorders cause serious emotional and physical problems and can impact daily activities and make asking for help feel overwhelming. Recovery is possible, and help is available.

Learn more

Watch Jillian’s story
Read Ashley’s story
Watch Kitty and Anna’s story
Melrose Heals podcast

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Most people have occasional intrusive thoughts or compulsive behaviors. In an obsessive-compulsive disorder; however, these symptoms of obsession (repetitive and unwanted thoughts) and compulsion (irrational, excessive urges to do certain actions to lessen the worry caused by the thoughts) generally last more than an hour each day and interfere with daily life. Even though people living with obsessive-compulsive disorder know their thoughts and actions don’t make sense, they can’t stop them. Recovery is possible, and help is available.

Learn more

Read Melissa’s story
Read Monica’s story


It’s normal to feel intense emotions, like fear, anger and distress, if you’ve gone through or witnessed a traumatic event (like a serious accident, abuse or assault, military combat, natural disasters and more).  For some people, these feelings can last and include experiences (in nightmares or while awake) of reliving the trauma again and again — and are associated with avoidance of reminders of the event. In response, people may feel constantly on edge. Those can be signs of PTSD, and it’s important to seek care.  Recovery is possible, and help is available.

Learn more

Watch Daniel’s story
Read Jess’ story 

Postpartum Depression

This is a form of depression that includes all the symptoms of depression but happens following childbirth. It occurs in approximately 10-20% of new moms. Symptoms can sometimes include fears such as excessive worry about the baby’s health or unwanted thoughts of harming the baby. Moms may also experience drastic changes in motivation, energy, appetite or mood. It requires seeking support and medical care. Recovery is possible, and help is available.

Learn more

Watch Amy’s story


Schizophrenia is a serious mental health condition that interferes with the ability to interpret reality. Schizophrenia and other thought disorders have symptoms such as auditory and visual hallucinations, delusional thoughts and disorganized thoughts. Some people with schizophrenia may socially withdraw or appear to lack emotion. Recovery is possible, and help is available.

Learn more

Watch Dale’s story
Watch Albert’s story
Watch Regina and James’ story

Substance Use Disorders/Addiction

Substance use disorders occur when a person uses alcohol and/or other substances despite worsening negative consequences. A person may initially like a substance, but in addiction, a person may move to wanting and then needing a substance. They may feel withdrawal without the substance and may use despite being unable to afford it or spending undue time recovering from it. Their thinking may make it seem like substance use is still OK, despite what friends or family may see. This pattern can cause changes in the brain’s reward pathways, which can further contribute to the change in thinking and behavior, and people may do things (like steal for the substance) that they would never otherwise do. Substance use disorders lead to significant impairment, including health problems, disability and not meeting responsibilities at work, school or home. This condition frequently occurs together with another mental health condition, like depression, anxiety, or PTSD. Recovery is possible, and help is available.

Learn more

Read Josh Moe’s story