A Review of the Prevalence of Mental Illness as Seen in National Statistics

on Tuesday, 25 August 2020.

A Review of the Prevalence of Mental Illness as Seen in National Statistics

Despite the widespread issues relating to mental illness experienced by nearly every demographic, there is still a taboo nature in the discussion of how prevalent mental illness is. Especially for people of color, the discussion surrounding mental illness rarely considers just how common varying forms of mental illness are.

For the millions of people who directly experience or see a loved one experience the negative effects of mental illness, it can be isolating. Reviewing just how many people share those experiences can be reassuring that you are not alone. Additionally, being aware of the prevalence of mental illness can help you identify the warning signs.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health in 2017, approximately 47 million people in the United States had a mental illness. Yet, less than half received treatment.

Without treatment of any kind, such as group therapy or medication, mental illnesses can worsen and begin to have detrimental effects on one’s physical health.

Beyond the effects on physical health, untreated or mistreated mental illness can lead to suicide. There are over 47,000 deaths each year due to suicide, with about 15 deaths per 100,000 people.

For those with a serious mental illness, estimated at roughly 5% of Americans, causing daily impairment, women are more likely to receive treatment than men.

Anxiety disorders and depression are two of the most common mental illnesses. These two illnesses range in severity and may appear in individually distinct behaviors. This can make diagnosis difficult for some.

According to the National Alliance for Mental Illness, 1 in 5 people experience some form of mental illness, while 1 in 25 experience serious mental illness. Ages 14-25 are incredibly important for monitoring mental illness. Nearly 75% of mental illnesses begin by age 24.

Additionally, suicide is the second leading cause of death among people aged 10-34.

If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 800-273-TALK (8255) or call 911 immediately.

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