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.