Think you’re alone in your struggles with mental illness?
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness ( NAMI ), an estimated 43.8 million adults experience mental illness in a given year. That’s nearly 1 in 5 adults in America, that experience a mental illness. And nearly 1 in 25 (10 million) adults in America live with a serious mental illness.
Who are these people experiencing mental illness? They are your friends, family, teachers, doctors, lawyers, singers, dancers, comedians, mothers, fathers, grandparents, you name it. We are all effected in some way or another by mental illness, whether it’s our own, or that of a loved one. But what exactly is a mental illness?
NAMI, defines mental illness as a medical condition that disrupts a person’s thinking, feeling, mood, ability to relate to others and daily functioning. Just as asthma is a disorder of the respiratory system, that can interfere with daily activities, mental illnesses are also disorders that can also interfere with daily activities, and very often result in a diminished capacity for coping with the ordinary demands of life.
The five most common mental illness diagnoses in the United States are:
1 Anxiety disorders: These are the most common mental illnesses in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults in the United States age 18 and older, or 18.1% of the population every year. These include: Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), Panic disorder, Phobias, Social anxiety disorder
2 Mood Disorders: Bipolar I Disorder, Bipolar II Disorder, Cyclothymic Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder, Persistent Depressive Disorder (Dysthymia), and Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder
3 Psychotic Disorders: Schizophrenia, Schizoaffective Disorder, Schizophreniform Disorder, Brief Psychotic Disorder, Delusional Disorder, Substance-Induced Psychotic Disorder, Psychotic Disorder Due to a Medical Condition, Paraphrenia
4 Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease
5 Eating disorders:binge eating disorder, anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa
Mental illness effects millions of Americans, but unfortunately only half of those affected receive treatment. Many times the greatest barrier to getting the help that’s needed, is fear. Being afraid of what others might think of you, and the potential stigma attached to mental illness, often keeps people from seeking the help they need. However, fortunately this is beginning to change.
Practically every day we can find someone speaking about mental illness, as it’s become a much more acceptable and necessary discussion in the public discourse. As more and more people come forward with their stories of struggle and recovery, the attitudes and actions when it comes to mental illness are changing. People are educating themselves and others. New treatment methods and approaches are coming out. And people are not afraid to seek the help they need.
So just remember, whether you’re dealing with a mental illness yourself, or with someone you love, You Are Not Alone.
If you or someone you know is struggling with mental illness, please call us today, and start your recovery journey.
To get immediate help in a crisis:
Call 911 if you or someone you know is in immediate danger or go to the nearest emergency room.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255); En español 1-888-628-9454
Use Lifeline Chat on the web
The Lifeline is a free, confidential crisis service that is available to everyone 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The Lifeline connects people to the nearest crisis center in the Lifeline national network. These centers provide crisis counseling and mental health referrals.
Crisis Text Line
Text “HELLO” to 741741
The Crisis Text hotline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week throughout the U.S. The Crisis Text Line serves anyone, in any type of crisis, connecting them with a crisis counselor who can provide support and information.
Veterans Crisis Line
Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) and press 1 or text to 838255
Use Veterans Crisis Chat on the web
The Veterans Crisis Line is a free, confidential resource that connects veterans 24 hours a day, seven days a week with a trained responder. The service is available to all veterans, even if they are not registered with the VA or enrolled in VA healthcare.
Disaster Distress Helpline
Call or text 1-800-985-5990
The disaster distress helpline provides immediate crisis counseling for people who are experiencing emotional distress related to any natural or human-caused disaster. The helpline is free, multilingual, confidential, and available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.