Mental Health by the Numbers – Adults
Welcome back! Thanks for stopping by!
To conclude our series on mental health, let’s discuss mental health facts as they relate to adults. Full details can be found here: https://www.nami.org/Learn-More/Mental-Health-By-the-Numbers
A staggering 43.8 million adults suffer some sort of mental illness per year. I can attest to that, as I have also experienced a form of mental illness more than once, especially depression. Yes, depression is a form of mental illness. As a matter of fact, it is the leading cause of disability in this world. Think about it! When a person is depressed, their thoughts are modified from the norm as they begin to feel hopelessness, which many times leads to physical illness. I have family members and friends who have experienced depression at least once in their lives. It can happen at any given moment, with the loss of a loved one, loss of a job, etc. Any kind of loss can spark a depressive mood. The problem happens when we cannot switch out of that mood and “think happy thoughts.”
Of course, depression is not the only form of mental illness. The numbers for adults with anxiety disorders is nearly 3 times that of depression.
So, how did we get here? In many cases, individuals suffer from multiple mental illnesses at once. For example, according to the National Institute of Mental health, about 10.2 million adults suffer from addiction disorders as well as mental illness. In addition, mental illness is tied heavily to homelessness and criminal convictions. It is also the leading cause of suicide in the U.S. I can attest to that as well, as I lost my only son to suicide when he was 18 years old, as a result of depression.
What can be done to help this situation? There are resources, but more than half of those suffering have not received help! I believe if we ALL educate ourselves on mental illness, more people who need help will find it.
I believe that much of the problem lies in people not realizing that they have a problem until it is too late. Once the illness has taken over their lives, they are less apt to see help because they are less likely to realize they need it. I have a relative who was born with a mental illness, and the only way help was received was because someone else recognized there was an issue and pointed my relative in the right direction. Unfortunately, while my relative is working with mental health resources, there is still the denial that there is even a problem. Without the support of others, my relative would have never received any help. Bottom line, we all need to ban together to fight the disease known as mental illness. It starts with learning more about the disease and the different forms of the illness. Do it for yourself, and do it for others. Otherwise, the numbers are only going to get worse. Let’s not be a contributor to the mental health problems in America! We all can do our part!
Until we meet again, I pray blessings for your life!