Approximately 1 in 5 adults in the U.S., 43.8 million, or 18.5% of the American population, experiences mental illness in a regular year. About 1 in 25 adults in the U.S., 10 million, or 4.2%, experiences a serious mental illness in a given year that substantially interferes with or limits one or more major life activities. 21.4% of the youth aged 13–18 experiences a severe mental disorder at some point in their life. For children aged 8–15, the estimate is 13%.
These are just some of the numbers that show how serious mental illnesses are. Even though they are not talked about often, many people suffer from them. This is why it’s important that we spread more awareness about mental illnesses. If it becomes more accepted to talk about perhaps more people will have the courage and motivation to seek help.
Major depressive disorder is the leading cause of disability in the U.S. for ages 15-44. Major depressive disorder affects approximately 14.8 million American adults, which is about 6.7% of the U.S. population aged 18 and older in a given year. Although major depressive disorder can develop at any age, the median age at onset is 32. Major depressive disorders occurs more among women than men.
Approximately 40 million American adults ages 18 and older, or about 18.1% of people in this age group in a given year, have an anxiety disorder. Anxiety disorders frequently co-occur with depressive disorders or substance abuse. Nearly three-quarters of those with an anxiety disorder will have their first episode by age 21.5.
Approximately 2.2 million American adults age 18 and older, or about 1.0 percent of people in this age group in a given year, have OCD. The first symptoms of OCD often begin during childhood or adolescence, however, the median age of onset is 19.
Approximately 7.7 million American adults age 18 and older, or about 3.5% of people in this age group in a given year, have PTSD. PTSD can develop at any age, including childhood, but research shows that the median age of onset is 23 years. The disorder also frequently occurs after violent personal assaults such as rape, mugging, or domestic violence; terrorism; natural or human-caused disasters; and accidents.
Approximately 6 million American adults ages 18 and older, equivalent to 2.7% of people in this age group in a given year, have panic disorder. Panic disorder typically develops in early adulthood (median age of onset is 24), but the age of onset extends throughout adulthood. About one in three people with panic disorder develop agoraphobia, a condition in which the individual becomes afraid of being in any place or situation where escape might be difficult or help unavailable in the event of a panic attack.
More than 90% of people who kill themselves have a diagnosable mental disorder, most commonly a depressive disorder or a substance abuse disorder. The highest suicide rates in the U.S. are found in white men over age 85. Four times as many men as women die by suicide; however, women attempt suicide two to three times as often as men.
Approximately 2.4 million American adults, or about 1.1% of the population age 18 and older in a given year, have schizophrenia. Schizophrenia affects men and women with equal frequency. Schizophrenia often first appears in men in their late teens or early twenties. In contrast, women are generally affected in their twenties or early thirties.
Approximately 15 million American adults age 18 and over, or about 6.8 percent of people in this age group in a given year, have social phobia. Social phobia begins in childhood or adolescence, typically around 13 years of age.
Women are more likely than men to develop an eating disorder. Only an estimated 5 to 15% of people with anorexia or bulimia, and an estimated 35% of those with binge-eating disorder are men. In their lifetime, an estimated 0.5% to 3.7% of females suffer from anorexia, and an estimated 1.1% to 4.2% suffers from bulimia. Community surveys have estimated that between 2% and 5% of Americans experience binge-eating disorder in a 6-month period.
Over 20 million U.S. citizens over the age of 12 have an addiction (excluding tobacco). 100 people die every day from drug overdoses. This rate has tripled in the past 20 years. Over five million emergency room visits in 2011 were drug related. 2.6 million people with addictions have a dependence on both alcohol and illicit drugs. 9.4 million people in 2011 reported driving under the influence of illicit drugs. 6.8 million people with an addiction have a mental illness. Rates of illicit drug use are highest among those aged 18 to 25. Over 90% of those with an addiction began drinking, smoking or using illicit drugs before the age of 18.
Treatment is a necessary factor if you want to live a healthy and happy life. Research has shown that most adults with mental health symptoms (78%) and without mental health symptoms (89%) agreed that treatment can help persons with mental illness lead normal lives. Most mental illnesses cannot be fully cured, you will always have it in the back of your mind, but it is possible to live a life without giving in to your illness. However, this is only possible if you seek treatment. There are several forms of treatment such as therapy, support groups, medication, or just someone to talk to. Your treatment depends on your illness, and you decide which treatment method is right for you. Not seeking treatment can have serious consequences.
Mood disorders, including major depression, dysthymic disorder, and bipolar disorder, are the third most common cause of hospitalization in the U.S. for people aged 18–44. People living with serious mental illness face an increased risk of having chronic medical conditions. Adults in the U.S. living with serious mental illness die on average 25 years earlier than others, largely due to treatable medical conditions. 37% of students with a mental health condition aged 14–21 drop out of an education, which is the highest dropout rate of any disability group. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S., the 3rd leading cause of death for people aged 10–24 and the 2nd leading cause of death for people aged 15–24. More than 90% of children who die by suicide have a mental health condition. Each day an estimated 18-22 veterans die by suicide due to PTSD.
Up to one-in-four primary care patients suffer from depression; yet, primary care doctors only identify 31% of these patients. Among the 8.9 million adults with any mental illness and a substance use disorder, 44% received substance use treatment or mental health treatment in the past year, 13.5% received both mental health treatment and substance use treatment and 37.6% did not receive any treatment. Four % of young adults reported forgoing mental health care in the past year, despite self-reported mental health needs. People with psychotic disorders and bipolar disorder are 45% and 26% less likely, respectively, to have a primary care doctor than those without mental disorders.
Thank you to American Psychological Association, The Kim Foundation, National Alliance on Mental Illness, and Addiction Center for the statistics.
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