Mental health is a crucial part of a person’s overall state of well-being. It includes a person’s mental, emotional and behavioral welfare. Mental illness facts are key to understanding aspects of various mental health conditions and substance use disorders.

Mental illness statistics provide information regarding the prevalence and incidence of various mental and behavioral health disorders. These facts are important in guiding research and evaluating current trends.

Prevalence of Mental Illness

The prevalence of mental illness provides estimates regarding how common various mental health conditions are. Rates of mental illness in adults, teens and children are studied continually. The occurrence of mental health conditions in various geographical locations is also examined for research and statistical purposes. Understanding the prevalence of mental illness in the United States is important to understand and change current trends in mental health and substance abuse.

Currently:

  • About 1 in 5 adults in the United States faces a mental health condition, and about 1 in 25 adults in the United States faces a significant mental health disorder in a given year
  • Over 44 million adults in the United States have a mental health disorder
  • About 46.4% of people will face a mental health condition in their lives
  • Around 1 in 5 youth aged 13–18 faces a serious mental health condition at some point during their lives
  • Of adults in the United States with a mental health condition in a year, 14.4% have one disorder, 5.8% have two disorders and 6% have three or more

Mental Illness Demographics

It is critical to study various demographic categories when obtaining statistics on mental health conditions. Mental illness statistics by race, age and socioeconomic status are important when researching how mental illness impacts different populations:

  • African Americans and Hispanics access mental health services at 50% the rate of Caucasian Americans and Asian Americans access services at 33% the rate of Caucasian Americans
  • Approximately 26% of homeless adults living in shelters have a significant mental health condition and 46% have a severe mental illness or substance use disorder
  • More than 22% of children living below the federal poverty level have a mental, behavioral or developmental condition
  • Mental illness in prison is a significant issue, as about 20% of individuals in state prisons and 21% of local prisons have a “recent history” of a mental health disorder
  • Approximately 70% of individuals in juvenile detention have at least one mental health disorder, and at least 20% have serious mental health conditions
  • The highest prevalence of antisocial personality disorder is among men who have a substance use disorder or who are incarcerated

Mental Health Conditions: By the Numbers

Mental health conditions are divided into various mental health categories in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders for classification purposes. These include anxiety disorders, mood disorders, personality disorders, eating disorders, impulse control disorders and psychotic disorders.

Anxiety Disorders

All anxiety disorders are distinguished by extreme anxiety and disturbances in behavior that cause interference in daily functioning. Anxiety disorder statistics provide diagnostic information about the prevalence of anxiety in various populations:  

  • 18.1% of adults in the United States have faced an anxiety disorder
  • Over 21% of adults in the United States are impacted by anxiety disorders every year
  • 7.1% of children aged 3–17 years have an anxiety disorder diagnosis

Infographic with a statistic on anxiety disorders

Mood Disorders

Mood disorders are a grouping that primarily describes all types of depression and bipolar disorders. Mood disorders are identified by intense feelings and mood changes that cause distress and impairment in several areas of a person’s life. Mood disorder statistics may assist researchers and practitioners in early detection and intervention:   

  • About 300 million individuals around the world experience depression
  • About 6.9% of adults in the United States had at least one major depressive episode in the past year.
  • 3.2% of children aged 3–17 years have a depression disorder diagnosis
  • The rate of youth with a major depressive disorder episode rose from 11.93% to 12.63%
  • Approximately 2.6% of adults in the United States have bipolar disorder
  • It is estimated that about 15% of the adult population will face depression at some point in their lifetime.
  • About 50% of individuals diagnosed with depression have a co-occurring anxiety disorder
  • About 73.8% of children aged 3–17 years with depression also have an anxiety disorder, and about 47.2% have depression and co-occurring behavior issues

Infographic with a statistic on mood disorders

Personality Disorders

Personality disorders are characterized by fixed, consistent and extreme patterns of thoughts and behaviors that differ from societal expectations and cause significant amounts of impairment. Borderline personality disorder usually involves unstable and intense feelings and behaviors, impulsivity and volatile relationships. Personality disorder statistics can provide valuable information on frequency, co-occurring conditions and suicidal and high-risk behaviors

  • Personality disorders affect 10–13% of the universal population
  • The most prevalent personality disorder in the United States is obsessive-compulsive disorder, which impacts 8% of the population
  • About 1.6% of the United States population has borderline personality disorder
  • Over 4 million people have borderline personality disorder in the United States
  • 75% of individuals diagnosed with borderline personality disorder are women.
  • Antisocial personality disorder is evident in approximately 3% of the United States population
  • 80% of individuals with antisocial personality disorder will have started to show symptoms by the age of 11

Infographic with a statistic on personality disorders

Eating Disorders

Eating disorders are defined by insufficient or extreme food intake and distress linked to nutrition, weight and body shape. Eating disorder statistics can provide insight into the number of people struggling with various eating disorders

  • Approximately 30 million people in the United States have an eating disorder
  • 2.8% of adults in the United States have a binge eating disorder at some point in their lives.
  • 1.5% of women in the United States face bulimia nervosa in their lives
  • 0.9% of women in the United States will experience anorexia in their lifetime
  • The prevalence of avoidant restrictive food intake disorder may be 3–5% of youth
  • Over 50% of individuals with bulimia have a co-occurring anxiety disorder
  • 33–50% of individuals with anorexia have a co-occurring mood disorder

Infographic with a statistic on eating disorders

Impulse Control Disorders

Impulse control disorders are linked with extreme and risky urges and actions that cause serious impairment in general functioning. Impulse control disorder statistics are difficult to access, as there is a limited amount of research on them compared to other mental health conditions.

  • Intermittent explosive disorder accounts for 2% of the overall amount of impulse control disorder cases
  • The prevalence of diagnosed kleptomania is approximated to be about 0.6%
  • Pathological gambling happens in about 3% of the population, but in areas where gambling is easily accessible, 7% of the population may classify for a clinical diagnosis.

Infographic with a statistic on impulse control disordersPsychotic Disorders

Psychotic disorders are characterized by the occurrence of hallucinations and delusions. Psychotic disorders are classified as severe mental health conditions and are neurological conditions that alter the way that a person thinks and acts. Psychotic disorder statistics show that these groups of disorders are treatable, despite their severity.

  • Approximately 3% of people have a psychotic episode while they are an adult
  • 1% of the population gets diagnosed with schizophrenia in their lives
  • 3.5% of the population encounters psychosis
  • 50% of people with schizophrenia have at least one other comorbid condition

Infographic with a statistic on psychotic disorders

Rates of Mental Illness and Co-Occurring Health Conditions

Poor physical health can lead to an elevated risk of developing a mental health condition. Similarly, weak mental health can harm physical health, intensifying certain physical conditions. Physical and psychological health conditions have a significant impact on each other, as a person with mental health issues are less likely to acquire medical care, while those with medical conditions are at increased risk of developing mental health concerns

  • Individuals with the highest levels of distress per self-reports were 32% more likely to have passed away from cancer
  • Individuals with mental health conditions are statistically less likely to participate in routine and wellness visits
  • About one-third of people with psoriasis, an autoimmune condition, face anxiety and depression
  • Depression has been linked to an increased risk of coronary heart disease
  • Schizophrenia doubles the risk of death from heart disease and triples the risk of mortality from respiratory disease 

Mental Illness and Substance Abuse

For many people, co-occurring mental illness and substance abuse are common. It can be challenging to distinguish which condition occurred first, as addiction may be used to self-medicate an already present mental illness, or a mental health condition may stem from an already present substance use disorder. Despite which disorder presented first, it is critical to treat both conditions comprehensively. 

  • Of the 20.2 million adults in the United States who experienced a substance use disorder, about 10.2 million adults had a co-occurring mental health condition.
  • Studies show between 65–90% of people receiving treatment for a substance use disorder have at least one personality disorder.
  • About 1 in 10 individuals with binge eating disorder have a co-occurring substance use disorder

Mental Illness and Developmental Disabilities

Developmental disabilities and mental illness can present simultaneously and be found in individuals of all ages and various levels of functioning. A comorbid mental health condition and developmental disability can impair a person’s daily functioning, including academic and occupational functioning. Approximately 30-35% of people with an intellectual or developmental disability also have a psychiatric disorder.

Mental Illness and Suicide

Mental illness and suicide go hand in hand. Many mental health disorders can increase the risk of suicide. Mood disorders, eating disorders, psychotic disorders and personality disorders are some of the mental health conditions that may elevate a person’s risk of suicide.

  • Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States and the second leading cause of death for individuals 10–34 years old.
  • Of those who die by suicide, more than 90% show mental health disorder symptoms
  • 18 to 22 veterans die daily from suicide
  • Approximately 70% of people with borderline personality disorder will make at least one suicide attempt during their life
  • Between 8–10% of people with borderline personality disorder will complete suicide, more than 50 times the rate of suicide in the broad population
  • 1 in 5 deaths from anorexia is by suicide

Mental Illness Mortality Rate

Morbidity and mortality in people with serious mental illness can be at an elevated rate when compared to the general population. Some mental health conditions are linked with an increased risk of suicide, thus shortening a person’s life expectancy, while other mental health disorders are linked with a reduced likelihood of tending to physical and medical needs. 

Mental illness mortality rates suggest that mortality rates may be lessened by assisting those with mental illness to more effectively maintain their medical and physical conditions:

  • Individuals in the United States who have a serious mental health condition pass away about 25 years earlier and have an increased chance of having other chronic medical issues
  • Bipolar disorder causes a decrease of approximately 9.2 years in a person’s anticipated life span
  • As many as 1 in 5 individuals with a bipolar disorder diagnosis manage to complete suicide
  • Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental health disorder

Economic Cost and Impact of Mental Health Disorders

The economic cost of mental illness is significant to society. This financial burden goes beyond associated medical and psychiatric costs, such as visits to medical and mental health practitioners, hospitalization or pharmacological costs. Mental illness has less obvious costs to society, including decreases in job productivity, income losses due to death or disability or a lack of production due to work absences or early retirement. This substantial economic cost must be taken into consideration when considering the need for more preventative care, more accessibility and a widened scope of treatment interventions.

  • Significant mental illness costs the United States approximately $193.2 billion in lost earnings per year
  • Mood disorders are the third most frequent causes of hospitalization in the United States for individuals aged 18-44

Mental Health Disorders and Emergency Room Visits

Some individuals in a mental health crisis seek treatment in mental health emergency rooms. Inadequate community resources, issues with mental health insurance and increases in substance use rates may be potential causes for an increase in behavioral health treatment sought in hospitals and emergency rooms. People with mental health diagnoses go to the emergency room 25% more than those without mental health conditions. About 25% of Medicaid patients who visit the emergency room for a mental health issue and about 33% of patients who visit for substance use issues do not receive outpatient follow-up care within 30 days of discharge

Statistics on Mental Health Treatment

Mental illness treatment statistics show that there are still many individuals who need mental health treatment that either do not seek it or are unable to get the type of care they need. Proper treatment is necessary to improve an individual’s quality of life, reduce economic burdens on society and prevent further mental health and substance use crises. 

Statistics show that treatment for mental health disorders needs to be made more readily available and more accessible to all individuals:

  • In 2018, there was a 2.5% reduction in the number of individuals with a mental health condition who did not have medical insurance
  • In 2018, 1 in 5 reported having a mental health need that was not met
  • In an individual to mental health practitioner ratio, there was almost four times the number of individuals to one mental health practitioner.

Prognosis and Outlook

Despite certain challenges, the prognosis for mental illness is good. Mental health research is being conducted by researchers all over the world, which is assisting in identifying causes, risk factors and effective treatment options for various mental health conditions. The stigma associated with mental illness continues to be targeted and addressed to encourage more openness about mental health concerns.  Various disorders are becoming less taboo to talk about, and suicide prevention is becoming more of a focus.

If you or a loved one is struggling with a substance use disorder and co-occurring mental health condition, The Recovery Village can help. By calling today, the compassionate and knowledgeable representatives at The Recovery Village will be able to assist you in finding the right kind of substance use disorder treatment for you in one of our numerous locations across the country.

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