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Filed Under: Educational
How to Educate Yourself About Mental Illness (Part 1)

How to Educate Yourself About Mental Illness (Part 1)

Unless you are a psychiatrist or a mental health related professional, you should not be diagnosing yourself or others. Save that job for the medical professionals. We have another job for you… Educate yourself as much as you can on all things mental health related. It is important to learn about mental illness so you can know the warning signs for you and/or your loved ones. Learn the difference between feeling sad and depressed or even Bipolar I and Bipolar II. Along with the education of the mental illnesses themselves, it is helpful to learn how to support yourself or your loved ones if needed. Know or save crisis hotlines and local services. Ask a friend or family member to write your name on the emergency contact information. Let them know that you are here for them. Help them and yourself separate what is the “norm” for you and what is out of the “norm.”  Regularly check in with your friends and family. Awareness is key. Ask questions, stay updated, and don’t judge. 

Remember that mental illness does not discriminate. Millions of people are affected by mental illness and are diagnosed each year. Anyone can have a mental illness and oftentimes it comes unseen. Unfortunately not everyone with a mental illness is aware of their illness and you can’t read everyone’s mind. But, It is important to try to understand you or your loved one’s needs so they can feel loved, accepted, supported and not alone. Being aware of possible warning signs, knowing resources, and learning how to educate yourself in a mental health crisis can be more impactful than you think. 

To educate yourself about mental illness, the National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI), has great information on the different mental illnesses, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, etc. Check out their site to learn more:

https://www.nami.org/Support-Education/Mental-Health-Education

https://www.nami.org/About-Mental-Illness/Mental-Health-Conditions

 

Important Mental Illness Statistics: 

NAMI Infographic link

https://www.nami.org/mhstats

 

Some Mental Health Conditions to Learn About:

Anxiety Disorder(s): https://www.nami.org/About-Mental-Illness/Mental-Health-Conditions/Anxiety-Disorders

Depression:

https://www.nami.org/About-Mental-Illness/Mental-Health-Conditions/Depression

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD):

https://www.nami.org/About-Mental-Illness/Mental-Health-Conditions/Obsessive-compulsive-Disorder

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD):

https://www.nami.org/About-Mental-Illness/Mental-Health-Conditions/ADHD

Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD):

https://www.nami.org/About-Mental-Illness/Mental-Health-Conditions/Borderline-Personality-Disorder

Bipolar Disorder: 

https://www.nami.org/About-Mental-Illness/Mental-Health-Conditions/Bipolar-Disorder

Schizophrenia: 

https://www.nami.org/About-Mental-Illness/Mental-Health-Conditions/Schizophrenia

Schizoaffective Disorder:

https://www.nami.org/About-Mental-Illness/Mental-Health-Conditions/Schizoaffective-Disorder

Psychosis: 

https://www.nami.org/About-Mental-Illness/Mental-Health-Conditions/Psychosis

Dissociative Disorders:

https://www.nami.org/About-Mental-Illness/Mental-Health-Conditions/Dissociative-Disorders

PTSD:

https://www.nami.org/About-Mental-Illness/Mental-Health-Conditions/Posttraumatic-Stress-Disorder

Eating Disorders:

https://www.nami.org/About-Mental-Illness/Mental-Health-Conditions/Eating-Disorders

 

If you or a friend relate to any of these conditions and are not already receiving professional help, please check out our resources page. And lastly, remember you are not alone.