The Latest Statistics — Who is Normal?

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 18 percent of the US population suffers from some kind of anxiety disorder, and additionally:

6 percent have Major Depression

2.6 percent have been diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder

1 percent Schizophrenia

On top of that, 4 percent of adults have ADHD; and 9 percent have some diagnosable personality disorder, such as Borderline Personality Disorder (often linked to trauma), Narcissistic Personality Disorder or Anti-Social Personality Disorder.

All that adds up to 40.6 percent of the US population.

There’s more. The Center for Disease Control estimates that 5 percent of the US population drinks heavily (that’s 15+ drinks per week for men, and 8+ drinks per week for women). 17 percent of the population binge drinks, 9.2 percent of the population uses some type of illicit drug, and 2.6 percent abuse psychotropic medications. If we add that to the 40.6 percent, it totals 74.4 percent.

These statistics do not include all the other categories of mental health diagnoses, including learning disabilities, pervasive developmental disorders (such as Autism), tic disorders, dissociative disorder, sleep disorders, sexual functioning disorders, neurocognitive disorders (such as dementia), paraphilic disorders, gambling, and eating disorders.

Now, it is common for individuals who suffer from mental illness to have what is called a “co-occurring disorder,” such as depression and anxiety, or anxiety with substance abuse. So, there is certainly some overlap in these statistics. However, these statistics are still staggering!

Let’s say that 25 percent of people with a mental health diagnosis also use substances to self medicate. That still leaves 66 percent of the US population with some kind of mental health or major substance abuse issue. That’s two out of three people. Could this be true?





Posted on by Diane in Counseling, index, Mental Health

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