Mental illness is one of the most common kinds of disability in the U.S. In fact, National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI) estimates that annually, around one in five American adults experience mental illness, and one in twenty-five American adults experience severe mental illness. Despite how common they are, mental health issues (and the symptoms that accompany them) can manifest differently for each and every individual. That means that even two people with the same exact diagnosis may act completely different, or face different challenges. And that means that what people do to manage their mental illness every day may vary a ton from person to person.
Because of how unique mental health issues can be, it's important to be aware that there's no one, correct path to treat mental health issues or to practice self-care. For people with mental health disorders, finding what works — from a solid routine, to a therapist, or additional support group — can often require a process of trial and error. While talk therapy and exercise may help one person, another person will benefit from medication and self-care — or something else entirely. This is what 15 different people do every day to manage their mental health and practice self-care.