Mental illness refers to a broad range of mental health conditions — disorders that affect your mood, thinking and behavior. Depression, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, eating disorders and addictive behaviors are the examples of mental illness.

From time to time, many people have mental health concerns but a psychological and mental health concern becomes a mental illness when ongoing signs and symptoms cause numerous stresses that affect your ability to function.

A mental illness can make you miserable and can cause problems in your daily life, such as at school or work or in relationships.

maryamshahMaryam Shah has completed her Masters in Clinical Psychology from Foundation University. She has also done Post Graduate Diploma in Clinical Psychology from Fauji Foundation University. Her research work includes Impact of body image on self esteem of adolescence and another research was on Perception of society from an eye of an addict. She had the experience of working as Fauji Foundation Hospital Rwp, Benazir Bhutto Hospital as a psychologist

Editor: Samreen Masud

It is not uncommon for parents to wonder whether their child is acting like a normal teenager or behaving differently due to mental illness, drug use or behavioral difficulties. Due to hormonal and physical changes that happen during puberty, normal teenagers are often moody. It may be hard to differentiate “normal teenage behavior” from the symptoms of depression, anxiety and other emotional difficulties when mental illness is involved.

Adolescence isn’t an easy time for parents, either. As children move through the various tumultuous transitions that accompany adolescence physical, emotional, hormonal, sexual, social, intellectual. The pressures and problems they encounter can all too easily seem overwhelming. For many teenagers, these and other pressures can lead to one or more of a variety of mental health disorders; all are matters of concern, and some are life-threatening.


Mental illnesses are disorders of brain function. They have many causes and result from complex interactions between a person’s genes and their environment. Having a mental illness is not a choice or moral failing. Mental illnesses occur at similar rates around the world, in every culture and in all socio economic groups.