Most Common Mental Health Disorders In America
Millions of Americans live with mental health issues. Thankfully, the conversation is shifting from taboo to a more public and healthy approach. Mental health is defined as your psychological and emotional well-being. According to mentalhealth.gov, this can be affected by many biological factors such as genetics, brain chemistry life experiences such as trauma and abuse or a family history of mental health problems.
The National Alliance of Mental Health reports that one in five adults in America experiences a mental illness in their lifetime. Right now, nearly 10 million Americans are living with a serious mental disorder. The most common are anxiety disorders major depression and bipolar disorder.
Below is more information on these disorders and how ACCESS can help. Remember you are not alone, and medical experts are here to support you.
Anxiety disordersAccording to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, this disorder is highly treatable, but only around 37 percent of those affected actually receive treatment. It is common to be diagnosed with both anxiety and depression. Symptoms can include excessive worrying, feeling agitated, restlessness, fatigue, tense muscles, difficulty sleeping, and panic attacks. A diagnosis for anxiety can only be made by a medical professional and includes a physical exam.
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Definition Of A Psychological Disorder
Perhaps the simplest approach to conceptualizing psychological disorders is to label behaviors, thoughts, and inner experiences that are atypical, distressful, dysfunctional, and sometimes even dangerous to self or others as signs of a disorder. For example, if you ask a classmate for a date and you are rejected, you probably would feel a little dejected. Such feelings would be normal. If you felt extremely depressedso much so that you lost interest in activities, had difficulty eating or sleeping, felt utterly worthless, and contemplated suicideyour feelings would be atypical, would deviate from the norm, and could signify the presence of a psychological disorder. Just because something is atypical, however, does not necessarily mean it is disordered.
For example, only about 4% of people in the United States have red hair, so red hair is considered an atypical characteristic, but it is not considered disordered, its just unusual. And it is less unusual in Scotland, where approximately 13% of the population has red hair . As you will learn, some disorders, although not exactly typical, are far from atypical, and the rates in which they appear in the population are surprisingly high.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
PTSD is a very common disorder, affecting millions worldwide, that is brought on after experiencing a traumatic event. To clear up some misconceptions, not everybody who experiences trauma will experience PTSD, it is not a sign of weakness, and military personnel are not the only ones who experience it.
PTSD can arise after grief, assault, abuse, or any perceived trauma. Somebody who experienced a scary experience where they thought something bad was going to happen to them may experience PTSD, while somebody who had a more traumatic experience may never show signs of the disorder.
Symptoms of PTSD range from mild to severe, with anxiety disorders like panic attacks being common. However, everybody will experience these symptoms differently. The symptoms will also last for different periods from person to person.
Consequently, PTSD requires a medical diagnosis, and treatment varies depending on severity. Everything from medication to talk therapy or even intensive psychiatric care is common for those with PTSD.
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Statistics Related To Mental Health Disorders
The following are the latest statistics available from the National Institute of Mental Health Disorders, part of the National Institutes of Health:
Mental health disorders account for several of the top causes of disability in established market economies, such as the U.S., worldwide, and include: major depression , manic depression , schizophrenia, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
An estimated 26% of Americans ages 18 and older — about 1 in 4 adults — suffers from a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year.
Many people suffer from more than one mental disorder at a given time. In particular, depressive illnesses tend to co-occur with substance abuse and anxiety disorders.
Approximately 9.5% of American adults ages 18 and over, will suffer from a depressive illness each year.
- Women are nearly twice as likely to suffer from major depression than men. However, men and women are equally likely to develop bipolar disorder.
- While major depression can develop at any age, the average age at onset is the mid-20s.
- With bipolar disorder, which affects approximately 2.6% of Americans age 18 and older in a given year — the average age at onset for a first manic episode is during the early 20s.
Most people who commit suicide have a diagnosable mental disorder — most commonly a depressive disorder or a substance abuse disorder.
Development Course And Prognosis
For many people the onset of common mental health disorders occurs in adolescence or early adult life, but the disorders can affect people at any point. Earlier onset is generally associated with poorer outcomes. reported an estimated median age of onset for anxiety disorders of 11 years and for mood disorders of 30 years in their US National Comorbidity sample. Half of all lifetime cases had started by 14 years and three quarters by 24 years. Many anxiety disorders also have a chronic course. This chronic course may be associated with a considerable delay in presenting to services, with consequent significant personal and social impairment. Therefore, concluded that interventions aimed at prevention or early treatment needed to focus on young people.
The average age of the first episode of major depression is the mid-20s and although the first episode may occur at any time, from early childhood through to old age, a substantial proportion of people have their first depressive episode in childhood or adolescence .
Generalised anxiety disorder
The most common age of onset is from the mid-teens to the mid-20s however, onset may occur at any time. Panic disorder often begins with occasional panic attacks that increase in frequency and which in time lead to a pattern of a generalised avoidance. The course of this disorder often follows a chronic pathway for many people with panic disorder, with agoraphobia likely to have an even more chronic course .
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Schizophrenia Spectrum And Other Psychotic Disorders
Schizophrenia is a chronic psychiatric condition that affects a persons thinking, feeling, and behavior. It is a complex, long-term condition that affects less than 1% of people in the United States.
The DSM-5 diagnostic criteria specify that two or more symptoms of schizophrenia must be present for a period of at least one month.
One symptom must be one of the following:
- Delusions: Beliefs that conflict with reality
- Hallucinations: Seeing or hearing things that aren’t really there
- Disorganized speech: Words that do not follow the rules of language and may be difficult or impossible to understand
The second symptom may be one of the following:
- Grossly disorganized or catatonic behavior: Confused thinking or bizarre behavior or movements
- Negative symptoms: The inability to initiate plans, speak, express emotions, or feel pleasure
Diagnosis also requires significant impairments in social or occupational functioning for a period of at least six months. The onset of schizophrenia is usually in the late teens or early 20s, with men usually showing symptoms earlier than women. Earlier signs of the condition that may occur before diagnosis include poor motivation, difficult relationships, and poor school performance.
The National Institute of Mental Health suggests that multiple factors may play a role in the development of schizophrenia including genetics, brain chemistry, environmental factors, and substance use.
Treatment And Care Strategies To Address Mental Health Needs Of Older People
It is important to prepare health providers and societies to meet the specific needs of older populations, including:
- training for health professionals in providing care for older people
- preventing and managing age-associated chronic diseases including mental, neurological and substance use disorders
- designing sustainable policies on long-term and palliative care and
- developing age-friendly services and settings.
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What Are The Treatments For Mental Disorders
Treatment depends on which mental disorder you have and how serious it is. You and your provider will work on a treatment plan just for you. It usually involves some type of therapy. You may also take medicines. Some people also need social support and education on managing their condition.
In some cases, you may need more intensive treatment. You may need to go to a psychiatric hospital. This could be because your mental illness is severe. Or it could be because you are at risk of hurting yourself or someone else. In the hospital, you will get counseling, group discussions, and activities with mental health professionals and other patients.
Who Is Affected By Mental Disorders
Mental illness is extremely common worldwide. If you believe you have a mental health disorder, you’re far from alone. 970 million people around the world suffer from one or more mental illnesses, including substance use disorder .
Mental illness affects huge portions of the population every year, either directly or indirectly. However, certain disorders are far more common and some people are affected more than others. Let’s talk about that.
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Mood Disorders: Depression And Bipolar Disorder
Major depressive disorder is a type of depressive disorder that affects more than 15 million adults in the United States and is the leading cause of disability in the U.S. for individuals 15-44 years of age. Children who have lost a parent before 10 years of age have an increase risk of depression later in life. Although major depressive disorder is the most well known depressive disorder, there are other depressive disorders such as disruptive mood dysregulation disorder, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, substance/medication-induced depressive disorder, and persistent depressive disorder, formerly referred to as dysthymic disorder. Persistent depressive disorder differs from major depressive disorder in that the symptoms usually wax and wane over a period of years. Symptoms of depressive disorders include the following:
- Difficulty sleeping
- Changes in appetite
- Suicidal ideations
Who Is Most Likely To Get A Mental Illness
Today, women are three times more likely than men to experience common mental health problems. In 1993, they were twice as likely. Rates of self-harm among young women have tripled since 1993. Women are more than three times as likely to experience eating disorders than men.
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Are Mental Health Disorders Treatable
Yes. There are several effective therapeutic techniques available that can treat the symptoms of many types of disorders. Behavioral therapy is one of the most successful types of therapy that focus on changing the thoughts and feelings that trigger troubling behaviors. Therapists guide clients toward understanding the root cause of their symptoms and begin forming healthy ways to cope with those feelings.
The U.S. spends billions of dollars annually to support the millions of people who struggle with depression, anxiety, substance abuse, PTSD, and other disorders. They are consistently adding more treatment centers and qualified therapists, and medical staff across the country to meet the growing demand. In addition, many organizations are working toward dispelling the stigma over mental health and showing everyone how enrolling in a mental health treatment program can benefit their lives.
At Crestview Recovery, our mental health treatment facility is available for Oregon residents who are struggling with their mental health. We get to know each client personally and the reasons behind their condition to develop healthy coping skills and a new attitude about themselves and the world around them.
Impairment Disability Secondary Problems
Apart from the subjective suffering experienced by people who are depressed, the impact on social and occupational functioning, physical health and mortality is substantial. In fact, depressive illness causes a greater decrement in health state than major chronic physical illnesses such as angina, arthritis, asthma and diabetes .
Depression is a major cause of disability across the world. In 1990 it was the fourth most common cause of loss of disability-adjusted life years in the world and by 2020 it is projected to become the second most common cause . In 1994 it was estimated that about 1.5 million DALYs were lost each year in the West as a result of depression . Depressive disorders account for 4.4% of the global disease burden or the equivalent of 65 million DALYs .
Emotional, motivational and cognitive effects substantially reduce a person’s ability to work effectively, with losses in personal and family income as well as lost contribution to society in tax revenues and employment skills. Wider social effects include: greater dependence upon welfare and benefits with loss of self-esteem and self-confidence social impairments, including reduced ability to communicate and sustain relationships during the illness with knock-on effects after an episode and longer-term impairment in social functioning, especially for those who have chronic or recurrent disorders. Some of the features of depression may impede access to appropriate healthcare.
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Stigma Leads To The Absence Of A Diagnosis
Although mental illness is very common, it isnt common for most people to admit that their is a problem. For various reasons, individuals who have psychological disorders or simply battle with their mental health, oftenthey hesitate to come forward. They may not feel comfortable seeking out a diagnosis because no one really wants to admit that they may not be normal. As a result, they cannot adequately meet their mental health needs and more often than not, they person will begin self-medicating with drugs and/or alcohol keeps unwelcome thoughts and feelings at bay, keeping the person in a vicious cycle of mental illness and substance abuse.
Below is a list of the most common mental disorders that lead to dual diagnosis:
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder
- GAD affects 6.8 million adults, or 3.1% of the U.S. population, yet only 43.2% are receiving treatment.
- Women are twice as likely to be affected as men. GAD often co-occurs with major depression.
Mental Disorders In Academia
Some authors argue that mental health problems in academia are widespread and constitute an invisible crisis . This point of view may reflect anecdotal evidence of life experiences, but to our knowledge there is limited systematic empirical research concerning mental health issues in postdoctoral researchers, research and teaching fellows, or professors. However, studies involving college, university or graduate students have brought heightened awareness of and attention to the topic . Findings from large-scale WMH surveys with 1572 college students across 21 countries indicated that one-fifth of the sample suffered from at least one mental disorder during the year prior to assessment . It is noteworthy that these prevalence rates did not exceed those reported in two control groups of non-students in the same age range, specifically in participants who recently left college without graduating and in other non-students . Across all groups, anxiety disorders were the most prevalent mental illnesses, followed by mood and substance use disorders.
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Substance Use And Addictive Disorders
Substance-related disorders are those that involve the misuse of different substances such as cocaine, methamphetamine, opiates, and alcohol.
These disorders may include substance-induced conditions that can result in many associated diagnoses including intoxication, withdrawal, or the emergence of psychosis, anxiety, and delirium. Examples of substance-related disorders include:
- Alcohol-related disorders: Theseinvolve the consumption of alcohol, one of the most widely used drugs in the United States.
- Cannabis-related disorders: These disordersinclude symptoms such as using more marijuana than originally intended, feeling unable to stop it, and continuing to use it despite adverse effects in one’s life.
- Inhalant-use disorders: Theseinvolve inhaling fumes from things such as paints or solvents. As with other substance-related disorders, people with this condition experience cravings for the substance and find it difficult to control or stop engaging in the behavior.
- Stimulant use disorder: Thisinvolves the use of stimulants such as meth, amphetamines, and cocaine.
- Tobacco use disorder: This is characterized by symptoms such as consuming more tobacco than intended, difficulty cutting back or quitting, cravings, and experiencing adverse social consequences as a result of tobacco use.
How Are Mental Health Disorders Treated
Treatments for mental health disorders may include:
- Medication: Some mental illnesses respond well to medication, such as antidepressants and antipsychotics. These medicines change the chemicals in your brain, so you experience fewer symptoms. Its very important to take medication exactly as your healthcare provider directs. Never stop taking medication for a mental illness without consulting your healthcare provider.
- Psychotherapy: Talking to a mental health professional can help you work through the challenges of an illness and manage its symptoms. Psychotherapy can be in a one-to-one setting with a healthcare provider or a group setting. Cognitive behavioral therapy is a form of psychotherapy. It focuses on helping you change negative behaviors and thought patterns.
- Alternative therapies: Some mental illnesses, such as depression, may improve with alternative therapies. Examples include herbal remedies, massage, acupuncture, yoga and meditation. Talk to your healthcare provider before taking any herbal remedies or supplements. They may affect other medications.
- Brain stimulation therapies: Not all disorders improve with medication. If thats the case, your healthcare provider may recommend brain stimulation therapies. These treatments change the way nerves and other cells in your brain process chemicals and respond to stimuli. Examples include electroconvulsive therapy and transcranial magnetic stimulation .
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