Mental Illness affects about one in five families in the U.S. These disorders are real diseases that you cannot will or wish away. Fortunately, they are often treatable. Medicines and therapy can improve the life of most people with a mental illness.
An estimated 26 percent of Americans ages 18 and older, about one in four adults, suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year. This figure translates to 58 million people. In addition, mental disorders are the leading cause of disability in the U.S. for ages 15-44.
In 2008, 13 percent of adults in the United States received treatment for a mental health problem. This includes all adults who received care in inpatient or outpatient settings and/or used prescription medication for mental or emotional problems.
Among all Americans, 36 million people paid for mental health services totaling $57.5 billion in 2006. This means the average expenditure per person was $1,591. Within this group, 4.6 million children received mental health services totaling $8.9 billion. The average expenditure per child was higher than that for the average American at $1,931.
Major Depressive Disorder
Major Depressive Disorder is the leading cause of disability in the U.S. for ages 15-44
Major depressive disorder affects approximately 14.8 million American adults, or about 6.7 percent of the U.S. population age 18 and older in a given year.
While major depressive disorder can develop at any age, the median age at onset is 32.5
Major depressive disorder is more prevalent in women than in men.
Bipolar disorder affects approximately 5.7 million American adults, or about 2.6 percent of the U.S. population age 18 and older in a given year.
The median age of onset for bipolar disorders is 25 years.
Approximately 2.4 million American adults or about 1.1 percent of the population age 18 and older in a given year have schizophrenia.
Schizophrenia affects men and women with equal frequency.
Schizophrenia often first appears in men in their late teens or early twenties. In contrast, women are generally affected in their twenties or early thirties.
Approximately 6 million American adults ages 18 and older, or about 2.7 percent of people in this age group in a given year, have panic disorder.
Panic disorder typically develops in early adulthood (median age of onset is 24), but the age of onset extends throughout adulthood.
About one in three people with panic disorder develops agoraphobia, a condition in which the individual becomes afraid of being in any place or situation where escape might be difficult or help unavailable in the event of a panic attack.
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Approximately 2.2 million American adults age 18 and older, or about 1.0 percent of people in this age group in a given year, have OCD.
The first symptoms of OCD often begin during childhood or adolescence, however, the median age of onset is 19.5
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Approximately 7.7 million American adults age 18 and older, or about 3.5 percent of people in this age group in a given year, have PTSD.
PTSD can develop at any age, including childhood, but research shows that the median age of onset is 23 years.
About 19 percent of Vietnam veterans experienced PTSD at some point after the war. The disorder also frequently occurs after violent personal assaults such as rape, mugging, or domestic violence; terrorism; natural or human-caused disasters; and accidents.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
Approximately 6.8 million American adults, or about 3.1 percent of people age 18 and over, have GAD in a given year.
AD can begin across the life cycle, though the median age of onset is 31 years old.
Approximately 15 million American adults age 18 and over, or about 6.8 percent of people in this age group in a given year, have social phobia.
Social phobia begins in childhood or adolescence, typically around 13 years of age.
Agoraphobia involves intense fear and anxiety of any place or situation where escape might be difficult, leading to avoidance of situations such as being alone outside of the home; traveling in a car, bus, or airplane; or being in a crowded area.
Approximately 1.8 million American adults age 18 and over, or about 0.8 percent of people in this age group in a given year, have agoraphobia without a history of panic disorder.
The median age of onset of agoraphobia is 20 years of age.
Specific phobia involves marked and persistent fear and avoidance of a specific object or situation.
Approximately 19.2 million American adults age 18 and over, or about 8.7 percent of people in this age group in a given year, have some type of specific phobia.
Specific phobia typically begins in childhood; the median age of onset is seven years.
The three main types of eating disorders are anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge-eating disorder.
In their lifetime, an estimated 0.5 percent to 3.7 percent of females suffer from anorexia, and an estimated 1.1 percent to 4.2 percent suffers from bulimia.
Between 2 percent and 5 percent of Americans, experience binge-eating disorder in a 6-month period.
The mortality rate among people with anorexia has been estimated at 0.56 percent per year, or approximately 5.6 percent per decade, which is about 12 times higher than the annual death rate due to all causes of death among females ages 15-24 in the general population.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
ADHD, one of the most common mental disorders in children and adolescents, also affects an estimated 4.1 percent of adults, ages 18-44, in a given year.
ADHD usually becomes evident in preschool or early elementary years. The median age of onset of ADHD is seven years, although the disorder can persist into adolescence and occasionally into adulthood.
A recent study reported the prevalence of autism in 3-10 year-olds to be about 3.4 cases per 1000 children.
Autism develops in childhood and generally is diagnosed by age three.
Autism is about four times more common in boys than girls. Girls with the disorder, however, tend to have more severe symptoms and greater cognitive impairment.
Alzheimer’s affects an estimated 4.5 million Americans. The number of Americans with AD has more than doubled since 1980.
Alzheimer’s is the most common cause of dementia among people age 65 and older.
Increasing age is the greatest risk factor for Alzheimer’s. In most people with AD, symptoms first appear after age 65. One in 10 individuals over 65 and nearly half of those over 85 are affected.
In 2007, suicide was the tenth leading cause of death in the U.S., accounting for 34,598 deaths. The overall rate was 11.3 suicide deaths per 100,000 people. An estimated 11 attempted suicides occur per every suicide death.
Source material: APA 2000, National Institute of Mental Health, NIH.gov, Psychiatric Times