Sometimes the mind deviates from the already prevailing normal, and rebels from what is seen as a coherent behavioral norm of the psychological environment. In such a situation, there is an upheaval in the individual’s life and he/she suffers from a mental illness or disorder.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) defines mental illness as a condition that impacts a person’s thinking, feeling or mood and may affect his or her ability to relate to others and function on a daily basis. The World Health Organization (WHO) states that mental illness, like physical illness, is on a continuum of severity ranging from mild to moderate to severe.
Results from the 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, published by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) in September 2015, reveals staggering facts and figures about mental illness in the United States on their website. In 2014, about 1 in 5 adults aged 18 or older (18.1 percent, or 43.6 million adults) had any mental illness (AMI), while 4.1 percent (9.8 million adults) suffered from any serious mental illness (SMI) in the given year.
In fact, half of the chronic mental illnesses begin by the age of 14 and three-quarters by the age of 24. However, the irony is that very few people out of this enormous number actually seek treatment for mental illness. Stigma, a common thread in the series, is the biggest and most prominent hindrance that prevents people with mental illness to seek treatment.
5 most commonly appearing mental disorders
The WHO highlights that there are more than 200 classified forms of mental illness. Symptoms may vary from changes in mood, personality, habits, general behavioral patterns and also visible signs of social withdrawals. Some of the most commonly occurring disorders are mentioned below:
Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health concern in the United States. It can cause such distress that it interferes with a person’s ability to lead a normal life. NAMI highlights that around 40 million, or 18 percent of the adults in the U.S., have an anxiety disorder. Approximately 8 percent of children and teenagers experience the negative impact of an anxiety disorder at school and at home.
This is another most common mental disorder in the U.S. Depression is a condition in which a person feels discouraged, sad, hopeless, unmotivated, or disinterested in life in general. Most sufferers do not realize the fact of being depressed or abstain from discussing with family and friends. Moreover, the prejudice prevalent against depression acts as a hindrance to seeking medical help.
Bipolar disorder, also commonly known as manic depression, is a brain disorder that causes shifts in a person’s mood, energy and ability to function in day-to-day life. The WHO states that 60 million people suffer from this disorder worldwide. The symptoms involve irritable mood swings, over-activity, pressure of speech, inflated self-esteem and a decreased need for sleep.
Schizophrenia is a serious mental illness that interferes with a person’s ability to think clearly, manage emotions, perceive reality, make decisions and relate to others. Schizophrenia is actually a psychotic disorder in which a person cannot tell what is real from what is imagined. It is a complex, long-term medical illness, affecting about 1 percent of Americans, the NAMI highlights. The alliance also states that although schizophrenia can occur at any age, the average age of onset tends to be in the late teens to the early 20s for men, and the late 20s to early 30s for women.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
ADHD is a condition which is characterized by inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity. ADHD is most commonly diagnosed in young people, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Symptoms of ADHD include the difficulty of staying focused and paying attention, difficulty controlling behavior, and hyperactivity (over-activity).
Is mental illness treatable?
It is a sheer myth that people suffering from mental illness can’t be cured. The main factor is that most people find it hard to come out in the open because of the social stigma attached to these disorders. There are different treatment options that are available for people suffering from such mental disorders. Recovery from these is however, a process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live a self-directed life, and strive to reach their full potential.
So, if you or your loved one is affected by any of these mental disorders, don’t hesitate in seeking treatment. Help from a qualified healthcare provider, a proper diagnosis and right treatment can bring the patient back on track. Sovereign Mental Health Services prides itself on using cutting-edge, evidence-based techniques to treat a wide assortment of mental illnesses such as depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and anxiety disorders. Feel free to contact us via online chat or call at 866-954-0529.