Mental Health Statistics and Facts
Let’s talk about mental health statistics. A full one quarter, that’s 25 percent, of Americans suffer from a mental illness in any given year. With an age of onset of about 14 years old, this is a significant portion of the population, but some experts put the estimate closer to one third. These experts claim that the stigma of mental illness prevents many people from seeking help, making their estimate of 33 percent a more accurate assessment.
Combat Stigma by Learning Mental Health Facts
You can combat the stigma and help others by learning about mental health facts. Serious mental illness presents a double-edged sword for those suffering from it. Not only must they deal with the actual symptoms of their mental illness, they must also deal with a pervasive and unjust social stigma – a shameful stigma – which often results in the following for people with mental illness:
- Lost opportunity for work
- Trouble finding adequate housing
- Inability to live independently
- Loss of self-esteem
- Not seeking professional help
- Fear of being “found out”
By learning mental health facts and dispelling the myths, you can help stop the stigma and end the silence about mental health issues.
Check Out These Mental Illness Statistics and Facts
Arming yourself with mental illness statistics and facts will help you to better understand the plight of those with these conditions. Or, perhaps, you have a mental disorder; knowing mental illness facts can help you accept your condition, get help, and stop hiding.
According to the National Institutes of Mental Health (NIMH), the top five most commonly diagnosed mental disorders in adults, annually, are as follows:
- Anxiety disorders (panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, general anxiety disorder, phobias) – approximately 18.2% of American adults
- Mood disorders (major depressive disorder, dysthymic disorder, bipolar disorder) – approximately 9.5% of American adults
- Personality disorders (antisocial, avoidant, and borderline personality disorders) – approximately 9.1 % of American adults
- Eating disorders (anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorders) – approximately 4.4% of American adults
- Schizophrenia – approximately 1.1% of American adults
It’s common for both children and adults to have more than one mental disorder. Mental illness is a disease just like cancer or heart disease. It’s up to everyone to know about mental health statistics and facts. With knowledge, we can stop the stigma and start the healing process.
Last Updated: 05 July 2016
Reviewed by Harry Croft, MD