Behavioral Health & Substance Abuse

Behavioral illnesses are medical conditions that affects how people think and feel, and cope with stress. These conditions can affect many part of your physical well-being and overall health. Furthermore, they can even make it more difficult to cope with other medical conditions you may have.

With the right treatment, people with behavioral illness can live their lives to the full potential, cope with stress in life, work productively, and contribute to society. Here are some of the major categories of behavioral health conditions that exists:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety disorders such as generalized anxiety disorders social anxiety disorders, panic disorders, and phobias
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Schizophrenia
  • Personality disorders such as borderline personality disorder, narcissistic personality disorder, and antisocial personality disorder

MagnaCare covers behavioral health providers such as psychologist, psychiatrists, and social workers. In addition, there are many public resources available for behavioral illnesses.

What Are Symptoms of Mental Disorders?

Symptoms of mental disorders vary depending on the disorder.


Symptoms of depression may include:

  • Not caring about things one used to
  • Feeling sad, down, or hopeless most of the day, nearly every day
  • Weight gain or loss
  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Fatigue/lack of energy
  • Feelings of guilt or worthlessness
  • Forgetfulness
  • Confusion
  • Moving and speaking more slowly than usual
  • Restlessness or have trouble staying still
  • Thoughts of death or suicide
  • If you or someone you know are in crisis, call the toll-free National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The service is available to anyone. All calls are confidential.


Symptoms of anxiety disorders may include:

  • Worry
  • Fear
  • Feeling “on edge”
  • Tiredness
  • Muscle tension
  • Stomach aches
  • Chest tightness or pain (see a doctor if this occurs – chest pain may be a sign of a medical emergency)
  • Fear of embarrassment
  • Blushing
  • Sweating
  • Trembling
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Headache
  • Dizziness

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder may include:

  • Obsessions
  • Repetitive and persistent thoughts (e.g., of contamination), images (e.g., of violent or horrific scenes), or urges (e.g., to stab someone)
  • These are not voluntary or pleasurable
  • Patients with OCD attempt to ignore, avoid, or suppress obsessions or to neutralize them with another thought or action (e.g., performing a compulsion)
  • Compulsions
  • Repetitive behaviors (e.g., washing, checking) or mental acts (e.g., praying, counting, repeating words silently) that a person feels compelled to perform in relation to an obsession or according to rules that must be applied rigidly or to achieve a sense of “completeness”
  • Compulsions are not connected in a realistic way to the feared event or are clearly excessive

Bipolar Disorder

Symptoms of bipolar disorder may include:

  • Depression
  • See depression symptoms above
  • Mania
  • Feeling abnormally and persistently happy, angry, hyperactive, impulsive, and irrational at different times
  • Feelings of special powers and superiority
  • Decreased need for sleep
  • Restlessness
  • Excessive talking
  • Increased activity
  • Racing thoughts
  • Short attention span
  • Inappropriate laughing or joking
  • Getting into arguments
  • Inappropriate spending sprees or sexual activity

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder may include:

  • Reliving the trauma: memories, nightmares, or flashbacks
  • Feeling “numb”
  • Avoiding certain people or places
  • Intense feelings, such as anger, fear, or worry
  • Trouble sleeping (insomnia)


Symptoms of schizophrenia may include:

  • Hallucinations
  • Delusions
  • Disorganized thoughts or speech
  • Lack of emotion and or changes in facial expression
  • Minimal movement or talking
  • Poor hygiene
  • Lack of interest in spending time with people or having fun
  • Problems learning and remembering
  • Difficulty understanding speech or other forms of communication
  • Difficulty making sense of new information
  • Difficulty solving problems
  • Anxiety
  • Depression

Personality Disorder

Symptoms of personality disorders may include:

  • Mood swings
  • Angry outbursts
  • Social anxiety which causes difficulty making friends
  • Need to be the center of attention
  • Feeling of being cheated or taken advantage of
  • Lack of impulse control/difficulty delaying gratification
  • Not feeling there is anything wrong with one’s behavior (ego-syntonic symptoms)
  • Externalizing and blaming the world for one’s behaviors and feelings

Facts about Behavioral Health

Why is mental health important for overall health?

Mental and physical health are both important components of your overall health.  For example, depression may increase your risk for many types of physical health problems, especially chronic conditions like diabetesheart disease, and stroke. In addition, the presence of chronic conditions can also increase your risk for mental illness as well causing your health get worse.

Can your mental health change over time?

Yes, a person’s mental health can change over time, depending on many different factors.  When the demands placed on a person goes beyond their resources and ability to cope, their mental health could be affected. For example, someone working long hours, caring for a relative, or experiencing economic hardship, may experience poor mental health.

How common are mental illnesses?

Mental illnesses are among the most common health conditions in the United States.

  • More than 50% of Americans will be diagnosed with a mental illness or disorder at some point in their lifetime.3
  • 1 in 5 Americans will experience a mental illness in any given year.4
  • 1 in 5 children, either currently or at some point in their life, have had a seriously debilitating mental illness.5
  • 1 in 25 Americans lives with a serious mental illness, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or major depression.6

What causes mental illness?

There is no single cause for mental illness. A number of factors can contribute to risk for mental illness, such as

  • Adverse early life experiences, such as trauma or a history of abuse (for example, child abuse, sexual assault, witnessing violence, etc.)
  • Ongoing (chronic) medical conditions, such as cancer or diabetes
  • Biological factors or chemical imbalances in the brain
  • Use of alcohol or drugs
  • Having feelings of loneliness or isolation

Find a Behavioral Health Provider

Choose your MagnaCare health plan; then search for a participating psychologist, psychiatrist, or social worker in the Find a Provider menu.

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An organization that provides help and hope to families and friends of alcoholics, through regular meetings and support groups.

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An international organization aimed at enabling its members to achieve sobriety and stay sober. Its only membership requirement is a desire to stop drinking.

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An organization dedicated to increasing awareness and improving the diagnosis, treatment, and cure of anxiety disorders in children and adults.

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Narcotics Anonymous uses a traditional 12-step model that has been expanded and developed for people with varied substance abuse issues.

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The nation's largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by behavioral illness. Its toll-free Helpline offers information and advice on a wide range of mental health conditions.

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NEDA supports individuals and families affected by eating disorders, and serves as a catalyst for prevention, cures and access to quality care.

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Narcotics Anonymous uses a traditional 12-step model that has been expanded and developed for people with varied substance abuse issues.

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Provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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