Mental illness

Mental illness

The definition of mental illness remains elusive and is usually based up on what constitutes socially accepted behavior norms. For example behavior that is normal in one culture may be considered abnormal in another culture.

Mental illness, also called mental health disorders, refers to a wide range of mental health conditions disorders that affect your mood, thinking and behavior.

Examples of mental illness include depression, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, eating disorders and addictive behaviors. Many people have mental health concerns from time to time.

Major criteria for the diagnosis of mental illness (Psychosis)

The criteria for psychosis include-

  • Bizarre behavior
  • Abnormal experience
  • Loss of reality contact
  • Lack of insight

Comparative characteristics of a mentally healthy and a mentally ill person-

 Accepts self and others 
  •  Feelings of inadequacy  
  •     Poor self-concept 
 Ability to cope or tolerate stress. Can return to normal functioning if temporarily disturbed 


  •  Inability to cope
  •  Maladaptive behavior 
 Ability to form close and lasting relationships  Inability to establish a meaningful  relationship 
Uses sound judgment to make decisions  Displays poor judgment 
 Accepts responsibility for actions  Irresponsibility or inability to accept responsibility for actions   
 Optimistic   Pessimistic 
 Recognizes limitations (abilities and deficiencies)   Does not recognize limitations (abilities and deficiencies) 
 Can function effectively and independently   Exhibits dependency needs because of feelings of inadequacy 
 Able to perceive imagined circumstances from reality   Inability to perceive reality 
 Able to develop potential and talents to fullest extent   Does not recognize potential and talents due to a poor self-concept 
 Able to solve problems   Avoids problems rather than handling them or attempting to solve them 
 Can delay immediate gratification  Desires or demands immediate   gratification 
 Mental health reflects a person’s approach to life by communicating emotions, giving and receiving. Working alone as well as with other, accepting authority, displaying a sense of humor, and coping successfully with emotional conflict.  
 Mental illness reflects a person’s inability to cope with stress, resulting in disruption, disorganization, inappropriate reactions, unacceptable behavior and the inability to respond according to his expectations and the demands of society.