Mental Health

Approximately one-quarter of adults in the U.S. suffer from a mental health disorder, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. However, only 6 percent are considered to have a serious mental illness. Mental health issues encompass a diverse and wide-ranging set of disorders. Depression, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia and eating disorders are among the nation’s most prevalent mental health conditions.

Depression

Depression is associated with intense feelings of sadness and an all-encompassing low mood. Major depressive disorder often affects sleep, appetite and social relationships. Even minor depression can cause feelings of hopelessness and isolation. Anxiety disorders are also very common in the United States and can take many forms.

Anxiety and Paranoia

Obsessive-compulsive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder can both be traced back to anxiety. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, roughly 40 million Americans suffer from some type of anxiety disorder. Schizophrenia is a serious, lifelong disorder that affects approximately 2.4 million people in the United States (or about 1 percent of the population.) The condition is linked to hallucinations and delusions. This may include hearing voices, or seeing or feeling things that no one else does. Paranoid thoughts, like believing others are trying to hurt you, is also a hallmark of schizophrenia. In the majority of cases, men begin experiencing symptoms in their late teens to early 20s. The onset for women is usually in their 20s or early 30s.  

Other Mental Health issues

In addition, eating disorders like bulimia, anorexia and binge eating are also considered mental health disorders. Some mental health problems are associated with self-injury. This refers to the deliberate act of bringing physical harm to your own body. This includes cutting and other forms of self-mutilation like burning, pulling hair and scratching. Treating self-injurious behaviors may involve cognitive behavioral therapy. This approach helps patients recognize unhealthy thoughts and habits, and replace them with healthy alternatives.

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