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Learning about mental illness

Our brains are powerful control centers—always at work—directing our thoughts, our feelings and even our decisions. Much of this happens without us even noticing: we breathe, we blink, we have a thought, we smile, we make a choice. All these actions, all day long, are our brain at work. 

But, there are things that can affect our brain, and affect how we think, feel, and act. 

Our genetics and family history, injuries, stress, and trauma can change the ways our brain works. Sometimes, they affect how our brain directs emotions, decisions, and the way we think about ourselves and the world. 

Mental illnesses take many forms. Sometimes mental health conditions are so severe they make everyday activities difficult or impossible.

When a mental illness interferes with a person’s life and ability to function, it is called a serious mental illness. This causes someone to have a lot of difficulty with one or more major life activities (like caring for oneself, eating, sleeping, speaking, breathing, thinking, communicating, and working). Mental illness can affect anyone. Help and support are available.

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In an emergency, or if you need immediate medical attention, call 911. If you feel like you want to hurt yourself or another person, call 911. If you are looking for treatment, help is available. Call the Action Line 1-800-467-3135. For youth in crisis, contact Mobile Crisis Intervention Services.

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Learn more about the feelings and symptoms you may be feeling.


managing mental health

Mental Illness Can Affect Us Physically, Too

Mental and physical health are linked. Physical symptoms can be signs that brain health is suffering.

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Medication & Mental Health

A variety of different medications can be used to treat and manage mental health issues.

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Treatment Choices

There are a variety of treatment and therapy options for mental illness.

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Resources, Help, and Information for Mental Health and Wellness

CTSTronger has you covered with wellness tips, resources, and treatment information for mental health.

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thoughts & feelings

Why Anxiousness Happens

Our brains are always at work—affecting how we think, feel, act and how we see the world.

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The Ups and Downs: Mood Swings

Shifts in mood happen to us all, but extreme highs and lows can be a sign that something bigger is going on.

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What Spiraling Thoughts Can Tell Us

Feeling anxious can be the brain’s way to protect us, but if it’s happening on a regular basis, it can impact day-to-day life.

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Changes in Sleep Patterns Can Leave Us Feeling So Tired

Good rest is important for good overall health. Need better sleep? Support is here to help you feel better.

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Why We Feel Suspicious

Feeling suspicious is a normal brain function, but if that’s becoming a more regular feeling, it could be the symptom of a bigger issue.

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