In recent years more conversations have revolved around mental health in the US. The stigma is around mental health and mental illness is gradually going away. Celebrities are coming forward with their struggles while politicians fight for funding for more mental health aid. Yet still, the US has one of the highest rates of mental illness in the world. The statistics and facts around mental health can be shocking at times.
In the US, 1 in 5 adults will suffer from a mental illness at one point in their life. Over 44 million people a year that are affected by mental health issues. The number goes down a little when we look at those with serious mental illnesses. Nearly 1 in 25(10 million) adults in the US suffer from serious mental health problems. With such high numbers, it’s no wonder that Florida psychiatrists are fighting for more funding and better programs. Many people might be surprised to know that nearly three-quarters chronic mental illnesses begin by the age of 24.
The top five mental illnesses that affect Americans are an anxiety disorder, major depression, bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and schizophrenia. Many people even suffer from more than one mental disorder at a time. 18.1% of American adults live with anxiety disorders while 6.9% of them live with major depression. These illnesses don’t have cures but they do have treatments. Unfortunately because of lack of funding, fear of stigma, or lack of knowledge almost 60% of American’s with mental illness don’t receive help.
The most common illness that co-occurs with other mental disorder is an addiction. Approximately 10.2 million adults suffer from both addiction and mental illness. People develop drug and alcohol addiction when they attempt to self-medicate. This can be done either because the person doesn’t want to accept they need help or because they don’t realize that they do.
Mental illness can have a huge impact on people’s lives. Due to the stigma and lack of discussion and knowledge on the issue many people don’t know how to help someone that has mental health issues. 4 of the 10 leading causes of disability in the US are mental disorders with depression being the leading causes of disability worldwide.
A large number of the homeless and prison population suffer from mental illness. 24% of the state prisoners have a recent history of mental health diseases. 26% of homeless adults living in shelters also have serious mental illnesses. Mental health problems, when left untreated, can be extremely detrimental to one’s quality of life.
Luckily, mental illnesses are treatable. Most Florida psychiatrists recommend a combination of therapy and medication. The exact treatments and medications vary depending on the severity, length, and type of mental disorder someone has. Access to the mental health resources Florida and other states have are important.
What to Do
Many people are unsure what to do if they or someone they know is suffering from a mental illness. The first step is to seek help. Reach out to a doctor, a psychiatrist, or any other mental health profession. They will be able to best advise you on what to do next. Research about the disorder to learn what you can do to help yourself or others. It’s also best to communicate with those in your life.
Don’t let the stigma of mental health keep you back. There is nothing wrong with having a mental illness. It isn’t a choice and it can be treated. It’s always good to find support in your illness. Reach out to family and friends, or if you don’t have support there find a support group.