Mental illness is a general term for a large number of illnesses; dealing with these illness can be very challenging for young people. Depression, anxiety, eating disorders, trauma-related disorders... each of these illness will look different in different people. It can be very hard to know how to relate to someone who is suffering from a mental illness. But first you need to understand what mental illness is... and what it is not.
What is a mental illness? Depression? Anxiety? This short video explains it.
Many young people are ashamed because someone in their family has a mental illness. Did you know that about 20% of American adults face a mental illness at some point in their lives? This means there are millions of people out there, many of them young people like you, who are dealing with the same kinds of issues you are. Look at the resources we've provided below -- you many find some that help you to understand and cope with mental illness in your own family.