Serious psychological distress plagues record number of Americans

Serious psychological distress plagues record number of Americans

A record 3.4 percent of the total population or 8.3 million American adults suffer from serious psychological distress (SPD), according to recent reports. SPD is marked by feelings of restlessness, sadness and worthlessness. These feelings can be extremely severe in nature, and could possibly alter a human being’s physical well-being.

Despite this staggering statistic, many of the affected people choose to go without treatment, hence giving the ailment a chance to fester and grow. SPD is serious enough to require steady medical treatment, so that the person suffering could have a chance at healing.

The federal data chalks up a grave picture and proves that SPD is on a rampant rise. Previous year’s data show that SPD was well under the 3 percent mark, but has increased now.

For the scope of this research, data from the National Health Interview Survey for the period between 2006 and 2014 across a diverse group of 207,000 Americans aged 18 to 64 years was collected from more than 35,000 homes and analyzed.

“Based on our data, we estimate that millions of Americans have a level of emotional functioning that leads to lower quality of life and life expectancy. Our study may also help explain why the U.S. suicide rate is up to 43,000 people each year; and there has been an uptick in the last decade of suicide and serious psychological distress in the middle age. The middle age is a newly discovered high-risk group,” says lead study investigator Judith Weissman, Ph.D., J.D., a research manager in the Department of Medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center, New York City, as per a news release.

SPD patients lack treatment options

People suffering from SPD have a fair chance of contracting a serious mental illness, such as depression. The survey proved that people suffering from SPD have comparatively less access to health care as compared to people who don’t suffer from the condition. The cause of SPD could be attributed to factors that coherently increase the stress levels of an individual, which the study also reflects back to. In this case, the stress reference point could be the great recession of 2008, which affected multiple people adversely.

The survey also concluded that adults suffering from SPD were 10 times more likely than normal patients to visit the doctor. However, they visited their primary care physicians, who most of the time were not equipped to handle mental health disorders. This resulted in the patients’ mental and physical health to suffer further.

The reason why the patients were unable to find suitable doctors was because of the cost involved. Despite the passage of many regulations, such as the 2008 Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act and the Affordable Care Act (ACA), 10.5 percent of the patients were unable to get treatment due to insufficient coverage for mental health in their health insurances in 2014. Additionally, 9.9 percent of the patients did not have enough funds to pay for their psychiatric treatment or medicines.

Recovery is possible

Any kind of stress-related disorder, such as SPD is bound to affect the life of an individual drastically. The feeling of worthlessness creeping into one’s life could be a telling factor and have a long-lasting effect on the psyche of the individual. However, seeking help is one of the smartest things that one can do in such a scenario, and a majority of people don’t ask for it, simply because of the fear of being persecuted or stigmatized.

Sovereign Mental Health is one of the leading mental health centers in California, which deals with a lot of patients suffering from mental health issues. Call our 24/7 helpline number 866-973-7164 for further advice, or chat online with our medical experts for more information on mental health programs in California.

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