Mental health conditions are highly prevalent in the United States. Approximately 1 in 5 adults in America experience at least one type of mental health condition and 1 in 25 will experience some type of serious mental illness per year. Due to the high prevalence, it is important to raise awareness about the most common mental health disorders.
Mood disorders and anxiety disorders are some of the most common types of mental illness that are diagnosed in the United States, but personality disorders, eating disorders and psychotic disorders also appear frequently. It is critical to reduce stigma about the most common mental health conditions to encourage more people to seek professional treatment when it is needed.
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The prevalence of anxiety disorders is high in the United States and are the most common mental health condition in America. It is estimated that 40 million adults and 8% of adolescents have an anxiety disorder in the United States.
Common anxiety disorders include:
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder: About 2% of adults in the United States are estimated to have generalized anxiety disorder each year.
- Social Anxiety Disorder: Approximately 7% of adults in the United States have social anxiety disorder in a given year. The prevalence of social anxiety disorder is higher for females than males, as 8% of women and 6.1% of men experience the disorder. It is estimated that 12.1% of adults in the United States experience the disorder at some point in their lives.
- Panic Disorder: Approximately 2–3% of American adults experience panic disorder each year.
- Phobias: Specific phobias are the most common type of anxiety disorders, as they affect 9.1% of the population. It is estimated that 12.5% of American adults will experience symptoms of specific phobia at some point in their lives.
The prevalence of depression is great in the United States, as depression is the second most common mental illness after anxiety disorders. The World Health Organization estimates that 300 million people around the world have depression.
Some of the most common types of depression include:
- Major Depressive Disorder: Major depressive disorder is the most common and most severe type of depression. Estimates show that 16.2 million adults in the United States have experienced at least one major depressive episode per year.
- Seasonal Depression: Seasonal depression impacts up to 5% of the United States population per year. Approximately 80% of individuals who experience seasonal depression are female.
- Postpartum Depression: According to the American Psychological Association, approximately 10–15% of women in the United States experience a depressive episode within three months of childbirth. About 600,000 women experience postpartum depression within one year of giving birth.
Bipolar disorder statistics show that approximately 2.8% of Americans are diagnosed with the condition. The prevalence of bipolar disorder is fairly equal across both genders and is considered to be the sixth leading cause of disability by the World Health Organization. About 4.4% of American adults are estimated to experience bipolar disorder at some point during their lives.
The percentage of the population with personality disorders is estimated to be about 10–13% of the general population. Approximately 9% of American adults have at least one personality disorder. Personality disorders are among the most common of all psychiatric diagnoses, as about 40–60% of psychiatric patients are diagnosed with a personality disorder.
Some of the most common personality disorders include:
- Borderline Personality Disorder: More than 4 million Americans have borderline personality disorder. Approximately 75% of people with this diagnosis are women.
- Narcissistic Personality Disorder: NPD affects approximately 0.5% of the U.S. population.
- Paranoid Personality Disorder: The prevalence of paranoid personality disorder is 2–10% in individuals receiving outpatient mental health treatment. The prevalence is approximately 10–30% in people receiving treatment in psychiatric inpatient facilities.
The prevalence of eating disorders shows that at least 30 million people are struggling with an eating disorder in the United States. Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate when compared to all categories of mental illness. Eating disorders are more prevalent in females than males, as about 20 million American women are impacted by an eating disorder at some point during their lives. Eating disorders are also common in the younger population as about 95% of eating disorder cases are in people aged 12–25 years old. Eating disorders are the third most common chronic health issue in teenage girls.
There are many types of eating disorder, but some of the most common eating disorders include:
- Binge Eating Disorder: Binge eating disorder is the most common type of eating disorder in the United States. In the United States, binge eating disorder is three times more prevalent than bulimia and anorexia combined. The lifetime prevalence rate of binge eating disorder is estimated to be about 2.8% of adults in the United States.
- Bulimia Nervosa: The lifetime prevalence of American adults is 1%. In the college-age population, up to 19% of women struggle with bulimia.
- Anorexia Nervosa: The lifetime prevalence of anorexia nervosa is about 0.6% of American adults. Approximately 25% of children who have anorexia are male.
Schizophrenia & Psychotic Disorders
The prevalence of schizophrenia and other related psychotic disorders are estimated to be between 0.25% and 0.64%. Schizophrenia is one of the top 15 leading causes of disability across the world, with more than 2.4 million adults living with the condition in the United States.
Other Common Mental Health Conditions
In addition to anxiety and depressive disorders, other common mental health disorders include attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). These mental health conditions are classified as “common” due to the fact that they impact more individuals than other mental health problems.
ADHD statistics show that about 5% of children are diagnosed with ADHD, according to the DSM-5. Another study showed that 15.5% of children in grades 1–5 had ADHD. ADHD prevalence in adults was studied in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication (NCS-R), and results concluded that about 4.4% of adults in America had ADHD.
Autism prevalence shows that approximately 1 in 59 children have been diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder, according to the CDC’s Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network. Autism statistics show that the condition is four times more common in men than women, and about 40% of people diagnosed are non-verbal.
PTSD statistics show that about 8 million Americans have PTSD during a given year. About 20% of people who experience a traumatic event will go on to develop PTSD. Approximately 1 in 13 people will be affected by PTSD during their lives.