How does it affect people?
Mental health issues are a leading cause of disability globally, and in addition to the personal impact experienced by those who suffer directly or indirectly, there can also be significant economic cost to a society.
In the US, mental health issues affect tens of millions of individuals each year, and it is estimated that only half receive any or adequate treatment. In any year, 26% of adult Americans experiences a diagnosable mental health issue, and just under 10% from a depressive disorder.
In broad terms, mental health conditions fall into several categories including:
- Cognitive decline
- Eating disorders
- Mood disorders
- Personality disorders
- Schizophrenia & psychotic episodes
- Substance-related issues
In the past 12 months, the number of adults in the US reporting issues with substance abuse was 7.74% with 2.97% reporting issues with illicit drug use disorder, and 5.71% reporting issues with alcohol use disorder.
The numbers for substance abuse by state range from 12.30% in the District of Columbia to 5.98% in the state of Florida.
Nationwide, the number of adults in the US with serious thoughts of suicide reached 11.4 million (4.58%) which reflects an increase of almost 700,000 people on the previous 12 months. By state, the range for runs from 3.79% in New Jersey to 6.19% in Utah.
While more women attempt suicide than men do, four times more men die of suicide then women. Most suicide deaths occurred in people with a diagnosable mental health disorder, and this is most typically a depressive or substance abuse disorder.
While it is a leading cause of death in people aged between 15 to 24, the highest rates are in Caucasian males aged over 85.
Depression, Anxiety, Bipolar, and Schizophrenia
Roughly 8.4% of adults in the US have had at least 1 major depressive episode, and men are only half as likely as women to experience major depression. People can develop major depression at any age, but it is most typical to experience the onset between 20 and 30 years old.
The risk for developing bipolar disorder is equal between men and women, and it affects over 2.6% of the population over the age of 18 in the US. For those who suffer with this condition, the average age of onset is in their early 20s
18% of Americans aged between 18 and 54 have an anxiety disorder which could be any of the following:
- panic disorder
- obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
- phobias including
- social phobia
- specific phobia
The typical age for where panic disorder develops is between late adolescence and early adulthood. Obsessive-compulsive symptoms generally first occur in childhood or adolescence, and generalized anxiety can start at any age, but the highest risk for ranges from childhood to middle age
For those experiencing OCD, it is not uncommon to also have issues with eating disorders, depression or substance abuse.
For women, schizophrenia first presents between the age of 20 and 30, and between late teenage years and early 20s for men, and overall it affects around 1% of the population.
To take a deeper look at the numbers, read our in-depth article on mental health statistics.