Few people realize that psychological disorders are very common. Unfortunately, misconceptions about them are also common—partly due to age-old prejudices and partly because people who have dealt with mental illness often don’t feel comfortable talking openly about it. The following statistics provide a snapshot of mental illness in the United States:
More than a quarter of Americans will suffer from a psychological or substance abuse disorder this year.
About one in four Americans will suffer with a diagnosable mental illness in his or her lifetime.
More than 5 percent of Americans have a psychological disorder that interferes with daily functioning, and 2.6 percent suffer from a severe and persistent psychological disorder.
Rates of mental illness are about the same for adults as for children and teens.
Women are more likely than men to be diagnosed with depression, but men are more likely to attempt suicide.
Fewer than half of those who need treatment for mental illness actually get the help, and most treatment they receive does not meet expert guidelines.
Serious psychological disorders cost the United States nearly $200 billion in lost wages.
Depression and other psychological disorders increase the likelihood of other serious medical conditions including heart disease.
Left untreated, depression is as costly to the U.S. economy as heart disease.
Mental health conditions are the second leading cause of U.S. workplace absenteeism.
Sales of antipsychotic drugs for psychological conditions topped $25 billion in 2008.
170 million prescriptions for antidepressants were filled in 2005.
The aggregate cost of mental disorders in the 1990s was about 2.5 percent of the U.S. gross national product.