Overview of Mental Illness

Updated August 5, 2020 | Infoplease Staff
Source: Mental Health: A Report of the Surgeon General, 1999.



Mood Disorders

Disturbances of Cognition

Other Symptoms

Major diagnostic classes of mental disorders

Mental illness is a term rooted in history that refers collectively to all of the diagnosable mental disorders. Mental disorders are characterized by abnormalities in cognition, emotion or mood, or the highest integrative aspects of behavior, such as social interactions or planning of future activities.

This overview of mental illness focuses on the most common of these disorders.

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