Defining Mental Health Terms

Defining Mental Health Terms

Anxiety disorders:

Anxiety disorders are a group of mental illnesses that cause people to feel excessively frightened, distressed, or uneasy during situations in which most other people would not experience these same feelings.

The most common mental illness in America, they affect about 20% of the population.


Depression is a medical illness that affects one’s thoughts, feelings, behavior, mood and physical health. Depression is a life-long condition that comes in periods of wellness and alternates with illness.

Symptoms include: sadness, poor concentration, insomnia, fatigue, appetite disruption, and thoughts of suicide.


Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder is characterized by inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity. There are three different types of ADHD with their own symptoms. ADHD usually starts in childhood but continues into adulthood.



The brain’s response to any demand that can be recurring, short-term, or long-term. Chronic stress affects the body by lowering immunity, and impairing the digestive and reproductive systems.

Symptoms: people may feel stress in different ways, like digestive problems, headaches, sleeplessness, depressed mood, anger, and irritability

People under chronic stress are prone to viral infections, like the flue or cold.

How to manage stress:

Talk to people who can give emotional support, like family or friends. Exercising 30 minutes per day can help reduce stress. Yoga or walking can help relive stress.

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