Mental illness is widespread in the US

Mental illness is widespread in the US

Fazal Rahman

The following articles show that 20 percent adults (1 in 5) and 20 percent children (1 in 5) in the US suffer from mental illness. These estimates are based on people who have sought treatment from the mental health establishment. However, there are countless others who also have mental illnesses, but have not sought such treatment. Hence, the actual percentage must be much higher.  As indicated in one of the articles below, it is also rising in the college students.  Moreover, most of those who are considered to be “normal”, within the norms of this sick society, are, in fact, even more mentally ill- like most political, government, and corporate leaders, and countless millions of their subordinates and celebrity worshipers- than those who are diagnosed as such. Unsurprisingly, the incidence of mental illness is higher among the homeless and prisoners.

Even though there are no studies to discover the deeper social causes of such high rates of mental illness in this country, it is certain that these are ultimately related to the political economy of capitalism and imperialism, and the culture and mass psychology, which originate from that. Deep down, it is the extreme forms of capitalism and imperialism, as well as racism that results from them, which are making vast numbers of people mentally ill in the US.

Report: 20 Percent of US Adults Experienced Mental Illness in the Past Year

December 03, 2012

https://www.rti.org/…/report-20-percent-us-adults-experienc…

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – One in five American adults aged 18 or older, or 45.6 million people, had mental illness in the past year, according to a report released by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and compiled by RTI International.

The 2011 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH): Mental Health Findings report presents results pertaining to mental health from the 2011 NSDUH, the primary source of statistical information on the use of illegal drugs, alcohol and tobacco by the civilian, noninstitutionalized population of the United States aged 12 years or older. Conducted by the federal government since 1971, the survey collects data through face-to-face interviews with approximately 65,750 people aged 12 years or older nationwide, at the respondent’s place of residence.

The rate of mental illness was more than twice as high among those aged 18 to 25 (29.8 percent) than among those aged 50 and older (14.3 percent), the report said. Adult women also were more likely than men to have had mental illness in the past year (23.0 percent versus 15.9 percent), it said.

Mental illness among adults aged 18 or older is defined as having had a diagnosable mental, behavioral or emotional disorder (excluding developmental and substance use disorders) in the past year, based on criteria specified in the fourth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, published by the American Psychiatric Association.

The 2011 NSDUH also shows that 11.5 million adults (5 percent of the adult population) had serious mental illness in the past year. Serious mental illness is defined as mental illness that resulted in serious functional impairment, which substantially interfered with or limited one or more major life activities.

The rates of mental illness remained stable between 2010 and 2011.

“Although mental illness remains a serious public health issue, increasingly we know that people who experience it can be successfully treated and can live full, productive lives,” said SAMHSA Administrator Pamela S. Hyde. “Like other medical conditions, such as cardiovascular disease or diabetes, the key to recovery is identifying the problem and taking active measures to treat it as soon as possible.”

The report says that among adults with mental illness in the past year, about 4 in 10 adults (38.2 percent of adults with mental illness) received mental health services during that period. Among those who had serious mental illness in the past year, the rate of treatment was notably higher (59.6 percent).

The report also notes that an estimated 8.5 million American adults (3.7 percent) had serious thoughts of suicide in the past year – among them 2.4 million (1.0 percent) made suicide plans and 1.1 million (0.5 percent) attempted suicide. Those in crisis or knowing someone they believe may be at immediate risk of attempting suicide are urged to call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or go to http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org. The Suicide Prevention Lifeline network, funded by SAMHSA, provides immediate free and confidential crisis round-the-clock counseling to anyone in need throughout the country, every day of the year.

According to the report, rates for substance dependence or abuse were far higher for those who had mental illness than for the adult population which did not have mental illness in the past year. Adults who had mental illness in the past year were more than three times as likely to have met the criteria for substance dependence or abuse in that period than those who had not experienced mental illness in the past year (17.5 percent versus 5.8 percent). Those who had serious mental illness in the past year were even more likely to have had substance dependence or abuse (22.6 percent).

The report also has important findings regarding mental health issues among those aged 12 to 17. According to the report, 2 million youth aged 12 to 17 (8.2 percent of this population) had experienced a major depressive episode in the past year. A major depressive episode is defined as a period of at least two weeks when a person experienced a depressed mood or loss of interest or pleasure in daily activities and had at least four of seven additional symptoms reflecting the criteria as described in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

In addition, the report finds that young people aged 12 to 17 who experienced a major depressive episode in the past year have more than twice the rate of past year illicit drug use (36.0 percent) as their counterparts who had not experienced a major depressive episode during that period (17.4 percent).

The complete survey findings from this report are available on the SAMHSA website at: http://www.samhsa.gov/data/NSDUH/2k11MH_FindingsandDetTables/index.aspx.

CDC says 20 percent of U.S. children have mental health disorders

By Tony Pugh May 19, 2013

https://www.washingtonpost.com/…/8c316b42-c0b3-11e2-8bd8-27…

Up to one in five American youngsters — about 7 million to 12 million, by one estimate — experience a mental health disorder each year, according to a new report billed as the first comprehensive look at the mental health status of children in the country.

And the rate is increasing, said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which produced the study, released last week.

Childhood mental disorders that alter the way children learn, behave and cope with their emotions affect 13 percent to 20 percent of youths under age 18, the CDC said Thursday. They also cost families and society at large an estimated $247 billion a year in treatment, special education, juvenile justice and decreased productivity, it stated.

Although the prevalence, early onset and effect on society make childhood mental problems a major public health issue, only 21 percent of affected children get treatment because of a shortage of pediatric sub-specialists and child and adolescent psychiatrists, according to the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry.

“Our current health care system does not meet the needs of these children,” Martin J. Drell, the group’s president, said last week in a statement about the problem.

Making matters worse, fewer medical students are opting for careers in children’s mental health, while the current crop of professionals is aging out of the workforce. The dearth of providers means troubled youngsters in underserved rural and urban areas are less likely to get timely care.

“Children with serious medical conditions should not have where they live determine what kind of health care services they receive,” said Thomas K. McInerny, president of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

The CDC report, “Mental Health Surveillance Among Children,” summarizes federal data and research from 2005 through 2011 to provide the agency’s first comprehensive snapshot of the nation’s emotionally troubled youths.

One recent study found that from 1997 to 2010, the rate of hospital stays among children for mood disorders increased from 10 to 17 admissions per 10,000 people.

Another study, which analyzed insurance claims, found a 24 percent increase in inpatient mental health and substance abuse admissions for children from 2007 to 2010. The report also found that the use of psychotropic drugs by teens had increased over the same period.

Greater awareness of mental health issues by doctors and parents, increased poverty stemming from the Great Recession and possible environmental factors could be playing a part in the increases, said Ruth Perou, child development studies team leader at the CDC.

The report arrived one week after National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day on May 9 and as President Obama prepares to host a June 3 mental health summit at the White House in response to recent efforts to halt gun violence.

The report found that suicide was more prevalent among boys than girls and among non-Hispanic whites and non-Hispanics of other races than it was among non-Hispanic blacks and Hispanic children.

Among children who died by suicide, the report found that nearly 30 percent made their intent known before the act and that 35.5 percent had a diagnosed mental disorder when they died. More than one in four childhood suicide victims were being treated for a mental disorder when they died, and 21 percent had made a previous suicide attempt.

Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder was the most commonly diagnosed problem reported by parents. It affects about 7 percent of children ages 3 to 17, or about 4.2 million, Perou said. About 2.2 million children in that age group — about 3.5 percent — have behavioral or conduct problems, while nearly 2 million, or 3 percent, have anxiety issues, she said.

An additional 1.2 million children ages 3 to 17, or about 2.1 percent, suffer from depression, while 678,000, or just over 1.1 percent, suffer from autism, she said. Tourette’s syndrome affects 99,000, about two-tenths of 1 percent of children in this age group.

An estimated 40 percent of children diagnosed with one disorder have multiple mental health disorders, some of which can be linked to childhood criminal behavior, substance abuse and other risky behaviors. Among adolescents ages 12 through 17, nearly 5 percent, or 1.2 million, battle an illicit-drug-use disorder, Perou said.

About 1 million, or 4.2 percent, deal with alcohol abuse disorder, and 691,000, or 2.8 percent of adolescents, have cigarette dependence, she said.

Mental health problems rising among college students

MARY EMILY O’HARA

Jun 28th 2017 6:54PM

https://www.aol.com/article/news/2017/06/28/mental-health-problems-rising-among-college-students/23007047/

Amy Ebeling struggled with anxiety and depression throughout college, as her moods swung from high to low, but she resisted help until all came crashing down senior year.

“At my high points I was working several jobs and internships — I could take on the world,” said Ebeling, 24, who graduated from Ramapo College of New Jersey last December.

“But then I would have extreme downs and want to do nothing,” she told NBC News. “All I wanted to do was sleep. I screwed up in school and at work, I was crying and feeling suicidal.”

More than 75 percent of all mental health conditions begin before the age of 24, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, which is why college is such a critical time.

Ebeling resisted getting therapy, but eventually got a diagnosis of bipolar II disorder from a psychiatrist associated with Ramapo’s counseling office.

“Then everything fell into place,” said Ebeling, who is doing well on medication today.

RELATED:Young Adults and Mental Health: A Guide for Parents

College counselors are seeing a record number of students like Ebeling, who are dealing with a variety of mental health problems, from depression and anxiety, to more serious psychiatric disorders.

“What has increased over the past five years is threat-to-self characteristics, including serious suicidal thoughts and self-injurious behaviors,” said Ashley Stauffer, project manager for the Center for Collegiate Mental Health at Penn State University.

According to its data, collected from 139 institutions, 26 percent of students who sought help said they had intentionally hurt themselves; 33.2 percent had considered suicide, numbers higher than the previous year.

And according to the 2016 UCLA Higher Education Research Institute survey of freshmen, nearly 12 percent say they are “frequently” depressed.

At Ramapo College, counselors are seeing everything from transition adjustment to more serious psychiatric disorders, according to Judith Green, director of the campus’ Center for Health & Counseling Services.

Being away from home for the first time, access to alcohol and drugs and the rigorous demands of academic life can all lead to anxiety and depression.

Millennials, in particular, have been more vulnerable to the stressors of college life, Green told NBC News.

Millennials tend to hold on to negative emotions, which can lead to self-injury, she said. It’s also the first generation that will not likely do as well financially as their parents.

“Students are working so much more to contribute and pay for college,” said Green. “Seniors don’t have jobs lined up yet.”

‘I dragged myself to the counseling center’

Like Ebeling, many students often experience mental illness breaks in college.

She had been in grief counseling after the death of her father at age 8, and even had therapy — but refused medication — during her teen years.

“I thought that it was weakness — ‘why can’t I just snap out of it?'” she said. “It became apparent it just wasn’t that easy.”

She hit a deep low her senior year.

“I was a crazy over-achiever,” she said. “I got involved in all the clubs and extracurricular activities.” But when her mood dropped, she said, “I couldn’t do anything, but had all those responsibilities.”

“In one class I panicked so much, I freaked out,” said Ebeling. “I dragged myself to the counseling center.”

The resources are available, according to Green, who first counseled Ebeling.

Ramapo reaches out to freshman and their parents at orientation and reinforces the availability of mental health resources throughout the year. The college also maintains an online anonymous psychological screening tool so students can see if therapy might be helpful.

“Students are electronically savvy, so we meet them where they are,” said Green.

They also sponsor wellness fairs so students learn about nutrition, exercise and even financial well-being — “the whole gamut to keep themselves well,” she said.

As for Ebeling, she took her experience and devoted her senior capstone project to learn more about mental illness. “It was therapeutic.”

“Kids going to college need to realize it’s not a weakness,” she said. “They shouldn’t be afraid to get help.”

“I try to be open and talk about it with friends and family,” said Ebeling. “Don’t shy away from it. It needs to be addressed. Let go of the stigma.”

Ebeling had good communication with her mother regarding her mental health diagnosis, but said other students should consider sharing their medical information if they “feel they have a good support system.

“I have friends who tried to discuss mental health issues with family members and completely got brushed off, which can be crushing and damaging,” she said.

“I think both students and parents need to keep an open mind, but at the end the of the day, those who are seeking help need to realize that they are doing this for themselves and no one else, and they need to put themselves first and foremost no matter what.”

Tips for Parents from the National Association of Mental Illness:

  • Let your child know that mental health conditions are common — one in five college students — so they don’t feel alone.
  • Emphasize the importance of exercise, sleep and diet.
  • Know the warning signs of mental stress and when and how to seek help. Check out the college’s resources.
  • And because of privacy laws, come up with a plan in advance for which information about mental health can be shared with the parent.

 

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