Substance abuse is a recognized medical brain disorder. It refers to the abuse of illegal or legal substances. Alcohol is the most common legal drug of abuse. Substance abuse causes serious problems at work, school, in relationships, and with the law.
1 SAMHSA, Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality, National survey on Drug Use and Health, 2013
ADHD, also called attention-deficit disorder, is a behavior disorder, usually first diagnosed in childhood, that is characterized by inattention, impulsivity, and, in some cases, hyperactivity. These symptoms usually occur together; however, one may occur without the other(s).
The symptoms of hyperactivity, when present, are almost always apparent by the age of 7 and may be present in very young preschoolers. Inattention or attention-deficit may not be evident until a child faces the expectations of elementary school.
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2 Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) Learn More
Depression is a whole-body illness. It involves the body, mood, and thoughts. Depression affects the way you eat and sleep. It also can affect the way you feel about yourself and things. It is not the same as being unhappy or in a “blue” mood. It is not a sign of personal weakness or a condition that can be willed or wished away. When you have depression, you can’t “pull yourself together” and get better. Treatment is often needed and many times crucial to recovery.
3 Major Depression Among Adults. Retrieved in 2015, Learn more at NIMH
Bipolar disorder is a mood disorder. It causes a person to have cycles of extreme mood changes that go beyond normal ups and downs. A person with bipolar cycles between periods of feeling elated, energized and excited with periods of feeling sad and depressed. For this reason, it’s also known as manic depression.
Bipolar affects equal numbers of men and women. But, women tend to have more symptoms of depression than of mania. Bipolar often begins in the teens or early adulthood.
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The term eating disorders refers to a variety of disorders. The common feature of all the eating disorders is abnormal eating behaviors. Eating disorders are serious mental health problems and can be life threatening.
5 National Alliance on Mental Illness Learn More
Autism spectrum disorder is a neurological and developmental disorder that usually appears during the first three years of life. A child with autism appears to live in his or her own world, showing little interest in others, and a lack of social awareness. The focus of an autistic child is a consistent routine and includes an interest in repeating odd and peculiar behaviors. Autistic children often have problems in communication, avoid eye contact, and show limited attachment to others.
Autism can prevent a child from forming relationships with others, in part, because of an inability to interpret facial expressions or emotions. A child with autism may resist cuddling, play alone, be resistant to change, and have delayed speech development. People with autism tend to exhibit repeated body movements, such as flapping hands or rocking, and have unusual attachments to objects. However, many people with autism excel consistently on certain mental tasks, such as counting, measuring, art, music, or memory.
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