May is mental health awareness month.  Mental illness consists of a variety of mental health disorders that change how one thinks, acts, and feels.  Most individuals will experience mild symptoms of mental health disorders throughout certain times of their lives.  However, those with a more severe mental health condition or illness will find that the symptoms experienced disrupt their ability to function socially, occupationally, and even interfere with the ability to complete what is thought of as simple daily tasks (showering, cleaning, shopping, etc.).  1 in 5 adults and 1 in 5 children are found to be impacted by a form of mental illness.  1 in 25 people will have a more serious mental illness like a psychotic (schizophrenia) or mood (bipolar) disorder (National Alliance on Mental Illness, n.d.).  ½ of mental illness is present by the age of 14 years old and ¾ will be present by the age of 24 years old.  Approximately 50 percent of children and 60 percent of adults will have an untreated mental health disorder.  Children will typically go nine years living with mental health symptoms before treatment is sought (National Alliance on Mental Illness, n.d.).  Mental illness is viewed as negative and leads to a stigma, which is often the reason one does not seek treatment for fear of judgment and ridicule.  The following are a few statistics associated with mental illness as reported by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (n.d.):

•    2.4 million people live with schizophrenia worldwide
•    6.1 million people live with bipolar disorder worldwide
•    16 million people live with a major depressive disorder worldwide
•    42 million people live with an anxiety disorder worldwide
•    90% of suicides are completed by people who were living with a mental illness
•    Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States in the adult population
•    Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death in the United States for those aged 10-24 years old

If you or a loved one are experiencing symptoms that you think may be related to mental illness, and it is interfering with your ability to function in different aspects of your life, help is available.  We at Pocahontas Medical Clinic are available to help guide you to a treatment that will be most helpful for you.

References

National Alliance on Mental Illness. (n.d.). Mental health facts: Children & teens. Retrieved from https://www.nami.org/getattachment/learn-more/mental-health-by-the-numbers/childrenmhfacts.pdf

National Alliance on Mental Illness. (n.d.). Mental health facts in America. Retrieved from https://www.nami.org/NAMI/media/NAMI-Media/Infographics/GeneralMHFacts.pdf

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