By now, most are aware that millions of people in the United States and even more around the world are suffering from different types of mental health conditions. While this level of awareness is a positive, there is still much to learn so that we can all provide the type of support those who face these difficulties need. That’s why we’re constantly promoting different messages and sharing information regarding mental health conditions and trends.
Forbes Health recently published an exhaustive list of statistics regarding mental health conditions and related data. We’d like to delve into five of them that we hope, with additional data, can help people put into perspective just how prevalent this situation is in society. If you or someone you love is facing this type of problem, you should contact our team at SoCal Empowered as soon as possible.
The first of the mental health conditions we’d like to discuss is that of anxiety. Anxiety can appear in many different forms, general anxiety disorder, panic disorder and others. According to the American Psychological Association, or APA, anxiety as an overall term is defined as, “an emotion characterized by feelings of tension, worried thoughts, and physical changes like increased blood pressure. People with anxiety disorders usually have recurring intrusive thoughts or concerns.”
Approximately 42.5 million adults in the United States are affected by some sort of anxiety-related disorder, making it the most common of all mental health conditions that people face. For the sake of context, 42.5 million people is 2.3 million MORE people than the number of residents in California, the most populous state in the country. That means that more than 20 percent of adults in the United States suffer from an anxiety disorder.
Depression is one of the mental health conditions discussed here that’s widely misunderstood. Depression is not simply having a case of “the blues” or “having a bad run of luck.” According to Psychiatry.org, depression is defined as, “a common and serious medical illness that negatively affects how you feel, the way you think and how you act. Depression causes feelings of sadness and/or a loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed. It can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems and can decrease your ability to function at work and at home.”
21 million adults across the United States suffer from some level or form of depression. This does not even include those aged between 12 and 17. In that age group, 3.7 million people experience major depression and another 2.5 million suffer from severe depression. Using the same construct for context, 21 million people is more than the populations in every state in the country except for California, Texas and Florida.
3. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
PTSD is often associated with combat veterans, and while that is an accurate association, far more people suffer from PTSD than former soldiers. According to the Mayo Clinic, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is defined as, “a mental health condition that’s triggered by a terrifying event — either experiencing it or witnessing it. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event.”
PTSD is also one of the most common types of mental health conditions in the United States. 12 million adults across the country are currently living with PTSD. Only six states have populations larger than 12 million people, and that number is equivalent to the combined populations of New York and Los Angeles, the two largest cities in the country.
4. Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar disorder has gone through different monikers and stages of knowledge since its initial discovery. Some people still think of it as manic depression, but bipolar disorder is defined by NAMI, or the National Alliance on Mental Illness, as, “a mental illness that causes dramatic shifts in a person’s mood, energy and ability to think clearly. People with bipolar experience high and low moods—known as mania and depression—which differ from the typical ups-and-downs most people experience.”
While some may think it rare, bipolar disorder is also one of the more common mental health conditions in the United States. Currently, approximately 3.3 million people have been diagnosed with this disease. That’s slightly more than the population of Connecticut and it would represent the third largest city in the United States, behind only New York and Los Angeles.
Because of its depiction in the media, schizophrenia is unfortunately one of those mental health conditions that carries a significant stigma. It is a very difficult condition to treat, but it can be done. According to the National Institutes of Health, or the NIH, schizophrenia is defined as, “a mental disorder characterized by disruptions in thought processes, perceptions, emotional responsiveness, and social interactions. Although the course of schizophrenia varies among individuals, schizophrenia is typically persistent and can be both severe and disabling.”
Approximately 1.5 million people in the United States are currently living with a diagnosis of schizophrenia, although many experts agree that this is a very under-diagnosed condition for a plethora of reasons. 1.5 million people would constitute the seventh largest city in the United States, sitting just behind Philadelphia and Phoenix.
How SoCal Empowered Can Help
As can be seen, mental health conditions, and the people who are battling them, are all around us. They are common enough that they would fill our largest cities and states, and odds are that every one of us – whether we know it or not – shares a regular presence with someone who is quietly fighting this courageous battle.
If you are concerned about someone you love or yourself, then all you need to do is contact SoCal Empowered. We’ll listen to your situation and help you find the best resource for your needs, whether that involves a stay with us or care from somewhere else. The most important step is the first one, so contact us today.