According to the National Alliance on Mental Health, more than 51 million U.S. adults had some type of mental health condition in 2019. About 5% of these people had a mental health condition that could be classified as serious.

The prevalence of mental illness varies significantly based on the demographic group, with lesbian, gay, and bisexual adults making up the largest percentage of cases. Mental health conditions are also prevalent among non-Hispanic mixed/multiracial adults, non-Hispanic white adults, and non-Hispanic American Indian or Alaska Native adults.

Anxiety disorders, major depressive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder are the three most common mental health conditions among American adults. Because these conditions can interfere with employment, affect academic performance and increase the risk for certain health problems, it’s important to seek mental health treatment as soon as possible after a diagnosis.

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Signs and Symptoms of Mental Health Conditions

Although mental illnesses are closely associated with the mind, they can also cause physical symptoms in other parts of the body. These physical symptoms occur for two reasons. First, the symptoms of mental illness can cause the body to enter fight, flight or freeze mode. This is a natural response to stressful or dangerous situations.

During this response, adrenaline enters the bloodstream, causing the heart rate to increase. Adrenaline also causes rapid breathing, a sharpening of the senses and increased blood flow to the organs and muscles. This can cause muscle aches, upset stomach, insomnia and vision problems.

Second, mental health disorders may make it difficult to carry out normal activities, including exercising, preparing meals and seeking medical care. Poor nutrition and a lack of physical activity can both lead to unintentional weight loss or weight gain, digestive problems, headaches and other physical problems. Delays in seeking medical care can also cause existing health conditions to worsen, resulting in a variety of physical symptoms.

Mental health disorders also affect a person’s behavior, mostly because mental illness affects the way the brain communicates with the rest of the body. Depression, anxiety, PTSD and other mental health problems may cause the following symptoms:

  • Intense sadness

  • Extreme feelings of guilt

  • Excessive worrying

  • Social isolation

  • Hallucinations

  • Delusions

  • Inability to relate to others

  • Irritability

  • Angry outbursts

  • Suicidal thoughts

Substance Abuse

Substance abuse is also considered a mental health disorder. It’s a disorder and not a lifestyle choice because people with drug and alcohol addictions can’t control their behavior. Even when substance abuse results in job loss, interferes with personal relationships or puts a person’s physical health at risk, it’s difficult to stop using due to the intense cravings and severe withdrawal symptoms that can occur.

In many cases, substance use disorder is accompanied by another mental health diagnosis, such as depression or generalized anxiety disorder. When someone has a problem with substance abuse and another mental health condition, they’re diagnosed with co-occurring disorders. Because one disorder can make the other disorder worse, it’s important to treat both mental health issues at the same time

Mental Health Conditions Requiring Treatment


Anxiety is one of the main symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder and phobia-related disorders. A phobia is an intense fear associated with specific objects or experiences, including flying, coming into contact with spiders or having blood drawn with a needle. Anxiety needs to be treated because it can interfere with work, school and social activities.

Bipolar disorder

Bipolar disorder is a mental illness that causes significant mood swings. A person with bipolar disorder typically has periods of euphoria or excitement (mania) followed by periods of intense depression. During a manic episode, the person may experience racing thoughts and display more energy than normal. Mania is also associated with impulsive behavior, such as spending large sums of money or engaging in risky sexual behavior. Depressive episodes typically cause sleep problems, mood changes, fatigue, restlessness and other symptoms of depression.

Borderline personality disorder

Borderline personality disorder is a mental illness that causes the sufferer to have sudden mood swings or develop a distorted self-image. It’s also common for someone with BPD to take an “all-or-nothing” approach to relationships. Common signs and symptoms of BPD include impulsive behaviors, unstable relationships, intense moods that change suddenly, anger problems and difficulty trusting others.

Eating Disorders

People with eating disorders have harmful thoughts about food and their bodies. The symptoms depend on whether the person has anorexia nervosa, binge-eating disorder or bulimia nervosa. Anorexia is characterized by an intense fear of gaining weight, while bulimia nervosa is characterized by a cycle of binging and purging. People with binge-eating disorder can’t control their eating habits, causing them to consume large quantities of food

Major depressive disorder

Major depressive disorder is a mental illness that interferes with many activities, including sleeping, going to work and performing parenting duties. Symptoms may include persistent sadness, irritability, a lack of interest in normal activities, loss of appetite and difficulty concentrating. These symptoms must last for at least two weeks to qualify for a diagnosis of depression.

Mood disorders

Mood disorders are mental health conditions that make it difficult to function. People with these disorders tend to experience moods that don’t match their circumstances. For example, someone with a mood disorder may feel sad or hopeless even when they’re excelling at work or building a new relationship with a romantic partner. Seasonal affective disorder, premenstrual dysphoric disorder and disruptive mood regulation disorders are all examples of mood disorders that can affect a person’s life.

Narcissistic personality disorder

Narcissistic personality disorder is more than a preoccupation with physical appearance or financial success. It’s a mental illness that causes a distorted self-image, resulting in a wide variety of symptoms. Potential symptoms of NPD include an extreme sense of self-importance, a strong sense of entitlement and a need for excessive admiration. Someone with NPD may also take advantage of other people to meet their own needs. NPD may develop due to childhood trauma, genetics or difficult relationships with parents, siblings and close friends.


OCD is a mental illness characterized by recurring thoughts and/or repeated behaviors. Recurring thoughts are known as obsessions, and they cause a high level of anxiety for OCD sufferers. One common obsession is an intense fear of germs or contamination. Repetitive behaviors are known as compulsions. These are the actions people with OCD take in response to their obsessive thoughts. Someone who’s afraid of germs may do an excessive amount of cleaning, for example. These thoughts and behaviors can interfere with daily life, so it’s important to seek treatment for OCD.

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that develops after some type of trauma, such as a sexual assault or military service in an active combat zone. People also develop PTSD after living through natural disasters or experiencing the sudden death of a loved one. To be diagnosed with PTSD, a person must have a certain combination of symptoms for at least one month. Potential symptoms of PTSD include flashbacks, nightmares, difficulty sleeping and avoiding people, places and objects that serve as reminders of the traumatic event.

Not everyone who experiences trauma goes on to develop PTSD, but even someone with short-term trauma symptoms can benefit from treatment. Trauma is a natural response that occurs after a shocking event, such as a sexual assault, terrorist attack or mass shooting. Like people with chronic PTSD, people who’ve experienced trauma may have flashbacks, sudden mood changes and difficulty maintaining normal relationships with others. Trauma can also cause headaches and other physical symptoms.

Residential vs Outpatient Mental Health Services

Virtue Recovery Center offers residential treatment for mental health conditions and substance abuse, giving patients an opportunity to regain control of their lives. Our residential mental health treatment programs are designed to help you learn how to manage your symptoms without becoming overwhelmed.

When you arrive at Virtue Recovery Center, you may participate in individual therapy, group therapy or family therapy. We also offer EMDR therapy for PTSD and transcranial magnetic stimulation for major depressive disorder, ensuring you get the mental health care you need in a safe, supportive environment. Our staff members have extensive experience treating people with personality disorders, depression, anxiety disorders and other mental health problems.

Virtue Recovery Center also offers intensive treatment for substance abuse, including alcoholism, illicit drug use and misuse of prescription medications. Our residential treatment programs are customized based on your medical history, mental health symptoms and history of substance abuse.

When you arrive at Virtue Recovery Center, you may need medical detox before you try cognitive behavioral therapy or other treatment options. During detox, our staff members supervise you closely to make sure you don’t have any withdrawal symptoms that could put your health at risk. This involves monitoring your vital signs and observing your behavior as drugs and alcohol are slowly eliminated from your bloodstream.

Once you’re ready for residential treatment for substance abuse, you’ll be able to participate in cognitive behavioral therapy, group therapy sessions and other types of therapy to help you discover why you feel such a compulsion to drink alcoholic beverages or use drugs. Therapists and other treatment professionals can help you change the way you think, making it easier to cope with stress without engaging in substance abuse.

When your residential treatment program ends, we’re here to support you in the next stage of your recovery. We’ll provide referrals for outpatient treatment and help you prepare for your return to work or school. When you leave our treatment center, you’ll have the resources you need to stay sober as you work on maintaining personal relationships and managing your professional obligations. VRC even offers access to legal services for patients facing criminal charges due to their substance abuse.

Take Control of
Your Mental Health

You may have been dealing with intense feelings of sadness, guilt, anger and shame, but life doesn’t have to be this way. Virtue Recovery Center offers residential treatment for substance abuse, major depressive disorder and other psychological conditions.

To make it as easy as possible to get the help you need, we work with many major insurance plans and have admissions counselors standing by to verify your benefits and arrange for you to check in as soon as possible. Call (866) 461-3339 to find out more about how you can break free from your symptoms and start enjoying life.