According to the latest survey, Americans are becoming more open about mental health. Most Americans have positive views about mental health disorders and treatment, according to the results of a survey conducted by The Harris Poll in place of the American Psychological Association.
A total of 87% of American adults sympathize that having a mental health disorder is nothing to be ashamed of, and 86% vocalize that they believe that people with mental health disorders can get better, according to the poll.
“The results of this survey are encouraging, and a signal that APA’s and others’ work over the years to promote mental health care is paying off,” said APA CEO Arthur C. Evans Jr., Ph.D. “They indicate a willingness to be more open about mental illness, as well as a strong belief among older respondents that having a mental disorder is nothing to be ashamed of.”
Mental health and substance use disorders now affect 13% of the world’s population. That number could increase exponentially as people around the world shelter in place and have to adjust to a new normal amid the coronavirus pandemic. In our national survey on mental health and coronavirus, we found that the COVID-19 pandemic has greatly affected the mental health of 59% of people in the United States alone. Breaking up the stigma around mental illness is important now more than ever.
Through the years, a great deal of work has started to decrease the stigma of mental health and there’s been huge progress in making these conversations feel normal. Today, as COVID-19 has affected all of us in various ways, discussions about mental health are becoming more and more common, and a lot of people are reaching out for help. Mental health looks different for each person affected. No diagnosis or challenge is exactly the same, and some mental health challenges can be hard to recognize. It can be easy to make assumptions or generalize, but realities differ, and these challenges can impact more than you may think.
We have listed down these statistics for you to better understand what mental health and substance use challenges look like in 2020:
1. In late June, 40% of U.S. adults reported struggling with mental health or substance use.
Two or more mental illnesses that occur either at the same time or at different lengths of time are considered comorbidity. The collision of multiple disorders especially mental and substance use disorders worsens the course of both, exacerbating their symptoms and their longevity. Mental illness and substance abuse commonly co-occur, but their relationship whether based on correlation or causation remains difficult to prove.
2. One in six U.S. youth aged 6-17 experience a mental health disorder each year.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of children between childhood to teenage years who suffer from depression and anxiety has increased over time, and 3.2% of children between the ages of 6 and 17 have a current diagnosis of depression.
3. Depression alone costs the nation about $210.5 billion annually.
Upon a depression diagnosis, a mental health professional has likely outlined solutions and treatments that can help improve your quality of life. These may range from medication to talk therapy to self-care. Depression treatments can quickly add up, especially if you don’t have insurance to cover the expenses, but getting treated for depression is critical and is a must.
4. Suicide is the second-leading cause of death among people aged 10-34 in the U.S. and the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S.
Suicide is the act of taking one’s own life. According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, taking the lives of about 47,000 Americans each year. Suicidal thoughts and behavior refer to talking about or taking actions related to ending one’s own life. Suicidal thoughts and behaviors should be considered a psychiatric emergency.
5. Many people suffer from more than one mental disorder at a given time. In particular, depressive illnesses tend to co-occur with substance abuse and anxiety disorders.
Depression and anxiety can occur at the same time. In fact, it’s been estimated that 45 percent of people with one mental health condition meet the criteria for two or more disorders. One study found that half. Trusted Source of the people with either anxiety or depression has the other condition. Depression is feeling down, sad, or upset is normal. It can be concerning feeling that way for several days or weeks on end. Anxiety can be debilitating and lead to irrational thoughts and fears that interfere with your daily life such as personal life, work, and school.
6. More than 70% of youth in the juvenile justice system have a diagnosed mental illness.
Nearly three out of four youth in juvenile prisons in the United States are suffering from mental health or substance abuse issues. Among the group, 20 percent are suffering severe mental health problems, which limit their ability to function in their daily life. Currently, our juvenile justice systems lack the ability to support and provide enough mental health services for juvenile detainees.
7. Transgender adults are nearly 12 times more likely to attempt suicide than the general population.
In a study, it is estimated that nearly 40% of LGTBQ youth have or will have a suicide attempt at some point during their lifetime. In a recent study conducted by Miss Kristina Olson, director of the TransYouth Project at the University of Washington, a transgender youth who transform their appearance to match their gender identity and not their sex assigned at birth may not necessarily experience mental health problems more often than other children. Many other studies that have been conducted have revealed that people who identify as transgender is at a higher risk for depression, anxiety, and suicide. What this new study revealed is that family support of the transgender person may be the key to happiness and mental health.
8. The most common mental illnesses in the U.S. are anxiety disorders, which affect 40 million adults (18.1% of the population).
Anxiety can be identified as excessive worrying even when there is no specific threat present or in a way that is disproportionate to the real risk. Someone struggling with General Anxiety Disorder (GAD) experiences a high percentage of their waking hours worrying about something that should not be worried about. The worry may be accompanied by reassurance-seeking from others.
9. Globally, mental illness affects more females (11.9%) than males (9.3%).
The realm of mental health for women, and in general, is a lot better now in the 21st Century, and there has been a lot of improvements within this century, especially in the last several years. There is more awareness of mental health issues and there are efforts being made to cut the stigma and stereotypes associated with it. Because mental health issues were associated with women in such a negative way and for a long time, it came to be seen as a sign of vulnerability and weakness. Activists today are working to shatter this stereotype for both men and women. Mental health awareness is becoming more clear and prominent in the workplace, at home, and in the media.
10. It is estimated mental disorders are attributable to 14.3% of deaths worldwide, or approximately 8 million deaths each year.
If you have been diagnosed with a mood disorder like major depression (MDD), bipolar disorder (BP), or another mental health disorder you may have experienced symptoms such as passively hoping you were dead, actively beginning to have a plan about your death, or becoming absorbed with thoughts of dying. If you are having these kinds of thoughts call a hotline or your therapist. You must help yourself to feel alive again.
Conclusion: Mental health awareness and acceptance are exponentially growing. In order for this growth to continue, the past must be taught and acknowledged. Mental health awareness has come a long way, but we still have a long way to go. Do your part and fight the stigma. If you are having symptoms of mental health conditions reach out to doctors, family, and friends.