Mental Illness

Any of a broad range of medical conditions that are marked primarily by sufficient disorganization of personality, mind, or emotions to impair normal psychological functioning and cause marked distress or disability and that are typically associated with a disruption in normal thinking, feeling, mood, behavior, interpersonal interactions, or daily functioning.

Brain & Behavior Research Foundation

The Brain & Behavior Research Foundation’s site answers frequently asked questions about mental illnesses, including schizophrenia, depression, and bipolar disorder, and discusses research advances in treating and understanding these illnesses.

This American Psychiatric Association Web site offers information on a range of mental health topics, from depression to confidentiality issues to managed care. Clearly-written brochures can be downloaded at the site, and there are also resources available to help find a psychiatrist, along with listings of hotline numbers.

Mental Health America

Mental Health America provides information about many forms of mental illness, treatment options, medication resources, and ways to get help.

National Alliance on Mental Illness

The National Alliance on Mental Illness Web site houses resources on a host of mental illnesses, such as depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and borderline personality disorder. The site also provides information on treatments, support groups, and recovery from mental illness.

National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)

The NIMH site is a well-organized and comprehensive resource for information about mental health. In addition to news releases, a list of current clinical trials, and intramural research reports, the site offers separate sections for the public, health practitioners, and researchers.

A nonprofit website to help people who are dealing with substance use issues — and their family members, friends, and co-workers, too. A source of information about signs, conditions, treatment options, and resources presented in a user-friendly format.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

Focusing on both substance abuse and mental health, SAMHSA provides information on prevention, treatment, and recovery, along with helpline numbers and national reports and statistics. The site also provides a treatment center locator for addiction and mental health services.

Dana Articles

Mental illness, Violence, and Stigma--The Need for Accuracy in the Media

How tightly is violence tied to mental illness? Not as tight as US journalism makes it appear, researchers say.

The Deprived Brain

How to Reduce Your Risk of Alzheimer’s Without Taking Drugs While most cases of dementia may be unavoidable, a great many may be prevented or delayed via simple changes in diet and other habits. In principle, the earlier in life a person starts making these changes, the better the preventive effect would be.

Appraising the Risks of Reefer Madness

By: Sir Robin Murray, M.D.

(Read Q&A with Sir Robin Murray, M.D.)
Studies that have tied cannabis use to schizophrenia in the developing brain are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to marijuana. Our author, a noted British psychiatrist, offers a European perspective on issues such as the dangers of synthetic cannabinoids, dependence and cognitive impairment, and the implications of legalization.

The Age Gauge: Older Fathers Having Children

By: Brian M. D’Onofrio, Ph.D., and Paul Lichtenstein, Ph.D.

Is there a link between a father’s age and his child’s vulnerability to psychiatric problems? Two recent studies suggest that children born to middle-aged men are more likely than their older siblings to develop a range of mental difficulties, including bipolar disorder, autism, and schizophrenia.

The Brain Inflamed

Scientists are finding evidence that neuroinflammation can alter mood and cognition, perhaps enough to help cause psychiatric disorders.

Psychiatric Drug Development: Diagnosing a Crisis

By: Steven E. Hyman, M.D.

When it comes to funding drug research to treat depression, schizophrenia, anxiety, and other psychiatric disorders, the global pharmaceutical industry prefers to invest its research dollars in cancer, metabolism, autoimmunity, and other disease areas. This comes despite the fact that one in five Americans currently take at least one psychiatric drug and that mental disorders are recognized worldwide.  The author traces the evolution of psychiatric drug development, the reasons for its retreat, and what needs to change to meet the growing demand.