More than half of adults in the United States will experience mental illness—which refers to a variety of conditions that affect one’s mood, behavior, feelings or thinking—at some point in their life. Mental illnesses can occur occasionally, while others are chronic. Common mental illnesses include anxiety, depression, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

Mental Health Awareness Month, observed every May, is a time to raise awareness about mental health, break the stigma and support people with mental illness.

Each condition has its own unique symptoms, but common signs of mental illness include the following:

  • Feeling sad, irritable or angry for an extended time
  • Feeling excessively paranoid, worried or anxious
  • Experiencing extreme mood swings
  • Avoiding friends and social activities