Report finds that 20% of Americans have experienced with mental illness within the last 12 months

This result means that there are about 1 in 5 Americans with mental disorders. This report concluded that close to 46 million adults (defined as 18 and older) have had a mental illness within the current year.  Breaking down the numbers, females have a much greater likelihood to have a mental illness (23%) compared to males who were at 17%.  Likewise, younger adults ages 18-25 are twice as probable to have a mental problem (30%) compared to older adults 50 and higher who where at 14%. Furthermore, Americans with Mental Disorders are much more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol.

The definition of a mental disorder is an illness which can be diagnosed as emotional, behavioral or mental.  It does not include substance abuse or developmental disorders.  It does include major depression, bipolar disorder, depression with psychotic features and other disorders found in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual published by the American Psychiatric Association.

There was also a large study of Americans with mental disorders done by SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) which concluded that 5% of adults 18 and older (which accounted for 11.5 million people) had a severe mental illness within the last 12 months.  Severe mental illness can be defined as negatively affecting one’s life to the point where they have trouble functioning in major life roles such as work, school, self care, etc.

Within the year for those people who had a mental illness only 40% sought treatment.  Breaking down the numbers, for people who had severe mental illness, those people sought treatment at a much higher rate at 61%.  But no matter which statistic you look at, too many Americans with mental disorders are not receiving treatment.

Americans with mental disorders and illnesses is a major health problem which can negatively contribute to other problems like cancer, obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, insomnia, drinking too much alcohol, smoking, being less physically active and so on.  In fact, people with moderate or serious mental disorders within the past 12 months are much more likely to self medicate with substances such as drugs or alcohol.  They are more than 3 times more prone to taking drugs or alcohol compared to the population in general who do not have the same mental problems.  Nearly 20% of the population who have mental issues also have a substance abuse problem, whereas the larger subsection of people without mental illness have substance problems at only 6%.   To break down the numbers even further, people with the most serious mental problems, 25% of them also have substance dependence.  This indicates that when a person goes for treatment for mental illness, they should also be treated for their dependence of drugs or alcohol.

Severe mental illness can lead to hopelessness and suicidal thoughts.  Approximately 9 million Americans contemplated suicide within the last 365 days.  Over 2 million people went to the next step of planning their suicide and 1 million actually attempted suicide.  If you are someone who has lost hope and might be contemplating suicide, please seek help immediately.

Because our treatment center relies on evidence based practices, our Intensive Outpatient Program shares many common methods with other successful treatment methods.  The foundation of our treatment program for relies on the principles of the stages of change, cognitive behavioral therapy, solution focused treatment, skills training and identifying repetitive dysfunctional behavioral relationship patterns to promote recovery from major depression and other mental health disorders.  In fact, our Intensive Outpatient Program in Memphis, TN that has been proven to be effective in the treatment of these disorders in six peer reviewed treatment outcome studies.   Our treatment center provides services to those who need more treatment than one hour a week, but less than 24 hour care, by providing three hours of treatment per day, three to five days per week, in an intensive outpatient setting.  If you or a loved one is showing signs of depression or anxiety, they should be assessed by a trained mental health professional who can help design a treatment plan that can result in recovery.  Treatment for depression and anxiety can be highly successful.  Call us at 901-682-6136 to schedule an appointment.