20% Of Americans Are Mentally Ill

DSMIVThis could explain a lot of the craziness we’ve seen in this country of late, methinks. Kathleen Doheny reports for WebMD:

Nearly one in five adult Americans has experienced mental illness in the past year, according to a new government survey, with women, the unemployed, and young adults more likely than others to be affected.

Among those one in five — representing 45 million Americans — the survey found that nearly 20%, or nearly 9 million, also had substance dependence or abuse problems in the previous year.

The results are in the 2009 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Mental Health Findings conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), a public health agency within the Department of Health and Human Services.

“It’s a sobering report,” says Peter Delany, PhD, director of the Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality at SAMHSA.

Access to care is wanting, with less than four in 10 of those with mental health problems in the past year getting mental health help, the survey found.

Comprehensive Look at Mental Illness in U.S.

“This is the first of its kind,” Delany says of the new survey. “This is the first time we have taken a comprehensive view of mental illness on its own.”

Estimates of mental illness — such as major depressive disorder and other mental health problems — were made based on data from the 2009 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, which polls about 68,700 Americans ages 12 and up.

Other noteworthy findings:

  • Of the nearly 20% of Americans with mental illness in the past year, 11 million of those, or nearly 5%, had what was defined as ”serious mental illness,” Delany says. He differentiates mental illness overall from serious mental illness by severity. While both categories met criteria for diagnosis as outlined in the 4th edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV), the lives of those with serious mental illness were more severely impaired.
  • 8.4 million adults had serious thoughts of suicide in the past year; of those, 2.2 million made a plan for killing themselves and 1 million attempted it.
  • Women ages 18 and older were more likely than men 18 and up to have any mental illness, with nearly 24% of women but 15.6% of men reporting mental illness.
  • In 2009, 2 million young people, ages 12 to 17 had major depressive episode; nearly 36% of those used illicit drugs…

[continues at WebMD]

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  • Cerebralcaustic

    >with *women*, the unemployed, and young adults more likely than others to be affected.

    Finally! Scientific proof that women are teh crazy.

    “It is widely reported that women suffer depression at twice the rate of men. Apparently, more women are clinically depressed than ever before. On the assumption that these assessments are true, the question anyone interested in the subject — which means anyone who cares about any woman — asks is, why?

    “In a recent column I offered one explanation — the impossibly high expectations for happiness that feminism created for many women.

    “There are other possible explanations.

    “One is the way in which many girls have been raised.

    “Societies and parents always knew that it was imperative to teach boys to control two aspects of their male nature — their sexual desires and their predilection for violence. So all of us decent men were taught from a young age to touch a woman sexually only with her permission and to channel our physical aggression into sports or into helping to fight evil by joining a police force, or the military, or by being prepared to physically defend innocents. Men who did not learn to control these aspects of male nature not only became bad men, they became unhappy men. Happiness is attainable only when we control our nature and not when our nature controls us.

    “Societies and parents also always knew that it was imperative to teach girls to control their natures — in particular their predilection to be ruled by their emotions. Women who allowed their emotions to rule them not only became destructive (to members of their families first and foremost), they became unhappy women.

    “However, with the advent of contemporary feminism and other social trends that coincided with the rise of feminism — among them the elevation of compassion over standards, the great emphasis placed on feelings, the rejection of patriarchy and the devaluation of traditional masculine virtues (like subdued emotional expression) — female nature came to be seen as far less in need of discipline than male nature.

    “So, while society continued to teach boys to control themselves, it stopped teaching girls to do so. Girls’ emotions and feelings were inherently valuable. And denying this was attacked as sexist, if not misogynistic.

    “Consequently, the women many of these girls grew into lacked the ability to control their natures, to control their emotions, or their moods, and therefore lacked the facility to engage in the self-control necessary for happiness and the avoidance of depression.”

    Dennis Prager, “Why Are So Many Women Depressed?”

    http://townhall.com/columnists/DennisPrager/2008/06/24/why_are_so_many_women_depressed/page/2

  • DeepCough

    This is all bullshit. There is only mental illness because there is an entire class of people who so direly need to diagnose mental illness, because that’s the only way they know how to make money.

    • Hadrian999

      you should try working with the mentally ill and then say mental illness is bullshit,
      i don’t mean people upset that life isnt as good as they wish i mean schizophrenia, bipolar disorder.

      • DeepCough

        You, sir, are also full of shit: behavior in and of itself constitutes a disease not, especially when psychiatrists aren’t the least bit able to account for PHYSICAL causes of disease, which is why they majored in psychology in the first place. And I’ll again reiterate that psychiatrists have every reason to argue for mental illness because–SHOCKER!–that’s how they make money.

        • Haystack

          Whether or not we understand the physical causes of something doesn’t determine whether or not it’s a disease. What matters is the degree to which it disrupts your life. There’s no doubt that some of this being fudged by pharmaceutical companies and such, but I’m with Hadrian–talk to some schizophrenics.

          • Hadrian999

            i will give you that many things treated with drugs shouldn’t be
            but that doesn’t mean everything treated as a mental illness is BS

          • DeepCough

            Obviously, you’re not familiar with the work of Dr. Drew.

        • Hadrian999

          ok so you are aware psychiatrists actually are medical doctors right?
          and that almost every mental thing has a physical cause, which is probably the first thing any psychology student learns.

          • DeepCough

            “Mental illness is a metaphor (metaphorical disease). The word “disease” denotes a demonstrable biological process that affects the bodies of living organisms (plants, animals, and humans). The term “mental illness” refers to the undesirable thoughts, feelings, and behaviors of persons. Classifying thoughts, feelings, and behaviors as diseases is a logical and semantic error, like classifying the whale as a fish. As the whale is not a fish, mental illness is not a disease. Individuals with brain diseases (bad brains) or kidney diseases (bad kidneys) are literally sick. Individuals with mental diseases (bad behaviors), like societies with economic diseases (bad fiscal policies), are metaphorically sick. The classification of (mis)behavior as illness provides an ideological justification for state-sponsored social control as medical treatment.” ~Thomas Szasz

            I’m sure if those Psychiatrists were concerned with physical causes of disease, they wouldn’t need to
            brand you “mental illness,” now would they? Furthermore, if Psychiatry is so scientific, then why does
            it allow itself to be infected with the germ of “cultural taboo”? (See: diagnoses on drug addiction, nymphomania and homosexuality for starters.) Your defense of a quack science does not behoove you,
            especially when disinfo.com links to a story on how the Top 50 Psychiatrists in the United States are
            all on the Big Pharma payroll to push anti-depressants, anti-psychotics, and tranquilizers to the American populace, you tool.

  • DeepCough

    This is all bullshit. There is only mental illness because there is an entire class of people who so direly need to diagnose mental illness, because that’s the only way they know how to make money.

  • DeepCough

    This is all bullshit. There is only mental illness because there is an entire class of people who so direly need to diagnose mental illness, because that’s the only way they know how to make money.

  • Hadrian999

    my late night trips to walmart suggest that 20% is far too low

  • Hadrian999

    my late night trips to walmart suggest that 20% is far too low

  • Hadrian999

    you should try working with the mentally ill and then say mental illness is bullshit,
    i don’t mean people upset that life isnt as good as they wish i mean schizophrenia, bipolar disorder.

  • http://thefirstchurchofmutterhals.blogspot.com/ mutterhals

    I don’t mean to go all Tom Cruise on that ass, but I think a lot of this is just self-fulfilling prophecy. Like, a doctor diagnoses you as bi-polar or depressed, and then you go around the rest of your life thinking something is seriously wrong with you. Debilitating mental disorders are far fewer.

    • GoodDoktorBad

      I have to agree with you that slapping a label on your “issues” can definatly cause a psychological snow ball effect. It creates a slippery slope to slide down. It robs you of a foothold of dignity to be labeled by
      societies PhD-gods….
      I think psycology is a worthy area of study, but it is far from ultimate understanding of human behavior, and even if it was, what would be done with the knowledge? Control human destiny?
      Oh wait, that’s already being done….

  • http://thefirstchurchofmutterhals.blogspot.com/ mutterhals

    I don’t mean to go all Tom Cruise on that ass, but I think a lot of this is just self-fulfilling prophecy. Like, a doctor diagnoses you as bi-polar or depressed, and then you go around the rest of your life thinking something is seriously wrong with you. Debilitating mental disorders are far fewer.

  • GoodDoktorBad

    Its not that hard to identify mental illness when confronted with it. The really hard part is when you try to define normalcy. People that seem outwardly “mentally ill” are often that way as part of a “normal” reaction to experienced events, perhaps early in life. Some would say: “you are what you do” or have done or have experienced. So, within this context, even the occurance of “mentally ill” people is normal -since bad things happen to people -normally. Shit happens…

    People can’t seem to help being exactly what and who they are at any given moment. People are as sane as they know how to be. Experience is the only frame of reference anyone has. Everyone is normal because no one is normal? Hmmmm…..

  • Anonymous

    Its not that hard to identify mental illness when confronted with it. The really hard part is when you try to define normalcy. People that seem outwardly “mentally ill” are often that way as part of a “normal” reaction to experienced events, perhaps early in life. Some would say: “you are what you do” or have done or have experienced. So, within this context, even the occurance of “mentally ill” people is normal -since bad things happen to people -normally. Shit happens…

    People can’t seem to help being exactly what and who they are at any given moment. People are as sane as they know how to be. Experience is the only frame of reference anyone has. Everyone is normal because no one is normal? Hmmmm…..

  • Anonymous

    I have to agree with you that slapping a label on your “issues” can definatly cause a psychological snow ball effect. It creates a slippery slope to slide down. It robs you of a foothold of dignity to be labeled by
    societies PhD-gods….
    I think psycology is a worthy area of study, but it is far from ultimate understanding of human behavior, and even if it was, what would be done with the knowledge? Control human destiny?
    Oh wait, that’s already being done….

  • http://dmipr.com/ Donovan Moore

    Now I don’t have to ask “why” anymore. thank you, what a time saver.

  • http://spiritnewsdaily.com/ Donovan Moore

    Now I don’t have to ask “why” anymore. thank you, what a time saver.

  • Anonymous

    “It’s a sobering report,” says Peter Delany, PhD, director of the Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality at SAMHSA.

    Immediately after saying that, Mr. Delany walked away with his organ dangling outside his unzipped pants, while dancing a quick Irish jig and picking up his copy of George Weasel Bush’s memoirs along with the accompanying crayon set.

    It should be noted by this reporter that Peter Delany’s PhD is in muffin baking and decorating.

  • myth_slayer

    “It’s a sobering report,” says Peter Delany, PhD, director of the Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality at SAMHSA.

    Immediately after saying that, Mr. Delany walked away with his organ dangling outside his unzipped pants, while dancing a quick Irish jig and picking up his copy of George Weasel Bush’s memoirs along with the accompanying crayon set.

    It should be noted by this reporter that Peter Delany’s PhD is in muffin baking and decorating.

  • Anonymous

    Anyone…..ANYONE….who quotes Dennis Prager is surely among the mentally ill category!

  • Anonymous

    Anyone…..ANYONE….who quotes Dennis Prager is surely among the mentally ill category!

  • DeepCough

    You, sir, are also full of shit: behavior in and of itself constitutes a disease not, especially when psychiatrists aren’t the least bit able to account for PHYSICAL causes of disease, which is why they majored in psychology in the first place. And I’ll again reiterate that psychiatrists have every reason to argue for mental illness because–SHOCKER!–that’s how they make money.

  • Siminatongue

    I take comfort knowing I’m not among the mentally ill.

  • Siminatongue

    I take comfort knowing I’m not among the mentally ill.

    • Siminatongue

      How do you know that really though? I mean, I am responding to you right now. Doesn’t that make you a little unstable?

      • Siminatongue

        Not as long as I don’t answer.

        • Siminatongue

          Crap!!

  • Siminatongue

    How do you know that really though? I mean, I am responding to you right now. Doesn’t that make you a little unstable?

  • Siminatongue

    Not as long as I don’t answer.

  • Siminatongue

    Crap!!

  • Haystack

    Whether or not we understand the physical causes of something doesn’t determine whether or not it’s a disease. What matters is the degree to which it disrupts your life. There’s no doubt that some of this being fudged by pharmaceutical companies and such, but I’m with Hadrian–talk to some schizophrenics.

  • Haystack

    If 20% of the population is considered to be mentally ill, that points more than anything to an overly broad definition of what constitutes mental illness:

    “2009, 2 million young people, ages 12 to 17 had major depressive episode”

    Who didn’t have a major depressive episode in high school?

  • Haystack

    If 20% of the population is considered to be mentally ill, that points more than anything to an overly broad definition of what constitutes mental illness:

    “2009, 2 million young people, ages 12 to 17 had major depressive episode”

    Who didn’t have a major depressive episode in high school?

  • Hadrian999

    i will give you that many things treated with drugs shouldn’t be
    but that doesn’t mean everything treated as a mental illness is BS

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    I’m inclined to think that this indicates a nationwide drop in coping skills for dealing with stressors…rather than an ‘increase’ in actual mental illness. Defining extreme distress as mental illness makes it easy to lump everyone into one category…but there’s a far cry from the person enduring grief and loss…and the hobo who dances and sings up and down the street every single day and changes his name every week. Crippling mental illness is one thing…and a comparatively rare thing at that…but a society built on easy answers, swift gratification and excessive comfort isn’t a breeding ground for emotional strength and flexibility. I’d love to see a national call to get people concentrating on their own emotional states instead of just mutely accepting that depression is hard to handle and an indicator of mental instability. Life is full of disappointment and stress…navigating it is about acceptance and endurance…not pharmacologically induced numbness.

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    I’m inclined to think that this indicates a nationwide drop in coping skills for dealing with stressors…rather than an ‘increase’ in actual mental illness. Defining extreme distress as mental illness makes it easy to lump everyone into one category…but there’s a far cry from the person enduring grief and loss…and the hobo who dances and sings up and down the street every single day and changes his name every week. Crippling mental illness is one thing…and a comparatively rare thing at that…but a society built on easy answers, swift gratification and excessive comfort isn’t a breeding ground for emotional strength and flexibility. I’d love to see a national call to get people concentrating on their own emotional states instead of just mutely accepting that depression is hard to handle and an indicator of mental instability. Life is full of disappointment and stress…navigating it is about acceptance and endurance…not pharmacologically induced numbness.

  • Andrew

    Women haven’t been beaten into dissociation as much as men have, so they’re more aware of their dissatisfaction. Prager’s one of the few willing and able to concoct such a complicated rationalization of male dissociation and condemnation of female awareness.

  • Andrew

    Women haven’t been beaten into dissociation as much as men have, so they’re more aware of their dissatisfaction. Prager’s one of the few willing and able to concoct such a complicated rationalization of male dissociation and condemnation of female awareness.

  • DeepCough

    Obviously, you’re not familiar with the work of Dr. Drew.

  • DeepCough

    Obviously, you’re not familiar with the work of Dr. Drew.

  • http://relaxedfocus.blogspot.com/ Rob

    Nonsense. This places me even more firmly in Dr. Thomas Szasz’s & “Myth of Mental Illness.” Should be required reading for these knuckleheads.

  • http://relaxedfocus.blogspot.com/ Rob

    Nonsense. This places me even more firmly in Dr. Thomas Szasz’s & “Myth of Mental Illness.” Should be required reading for these knuckleheads.

  • http://relaxedfocus.blogspot.com/ Rob

    Nonsense. This places me even more firmly in Dr. Thomas Szasz’s & “Myth of Mental Illness.” Should be required reading for these knuckleheads.

  • Hadrian999

    ok so you are aware psychiatrists actually are medical doctors right?
    and that almost every mental thing has a physical cause, which is probably the first thing any psychology student learns.

  • DeepCough

    “Mental illness is a metaphor (metaphorical disease). The word “disease” denotes a demonstrable biological process that affects the bodies of living organisms (plants, animals, and humans). The term “mental illness” refers to the undesirable thoughts, feelings, and behaviors of persons. Classifying thoughts, feelings, and behaviors as diseases is a logical and semantic error, like classifying the whale as a fish. As the whale is not a fish, mental illness is not a disease. Individuals with brain diseases (bad brains) or kidney diseases (bad kidneys) are literally sick. Individuals with mental diseases (bad behaviors), like societies with economic diseases (bad fiscal policies), are metaphorically sick. The classification of (mis)behavior as illness provides an ideological justification for state-sponsored social control as medical treatment.” ~Thomas Szasz

    I’m sure if those Psychiatrists were concerned with physical causes of disease, they wouldn’t need to
    brand you “mental illness,” now would they? Furthermore, if Psychiatry is so scientific, then why does
    it allow itself to be infected with the germ of “cultural taboo”? (See: diagnoses on drug addiction, nymphomania and homosexuality for starters.) Your defense of a quack science does not behoove you,
    especially when disinfo.com links to a story on how the Top 50 Psychiatrists in the United States are
    all on the Big Pharma payroll to push anti-depressants, anti-psychotics, and tranquilizers to the American populace, you tool.

  • DeepCough

    “Mental illness is a metaphor (metaphorical disease). The word “disease” denotes a demonstrable biological process that affects the bodies of living organisms (plants, animals, and humans). The term “mental illness” refers to the undesirable thoughts, feelings, and behaviors of persons. Classifying thoughts, feelings, and behaviors as diseases is a logical and semantic error, like classifying the whale as a fish. As the whale is not a fish, mental illness is not a disease. Individuals with brain diseases (bad brains) or kidney diseases (bad kidneys) are literally sick. Individuals with mental diseases (bad behaviors), like societies with economic diseases (bad fiscal policies), are metaphorically sick. The classification of (mis)behavior as illness provides an ideological justification for state-sponsored social control as medical treatment.” ~Thomas Szasz

    I’m sure if those Psychiatrists were concerned with physical causes of disease, they wouldn’t need to
    brand you “mental illness,” now would they? Furthermore, if Psychiatry is so scientific, then why does
    it allow itself to be infected with the germ of “cultural taboo”? (See: diagnoses on drug addiction, nymphomania and homosexuality for starters.) Your defense of a quack science does not behoove you,
    especially when disinfo.com links to a story on how the Top 50 Psychiatrists in the United States are
    all on the Big Pharma payroll to push anti-depressants, anti-psychotics, and tranquilizers to the American populace, you tool.

  • myth_slayer

    Anyone…..ANYONE….who quotes Dennis Prager is surely among the mentally ill category!

  • Andrew

    Women haven’t been beaten into dissociation as much as men have, so they’re more aware of their dissatisfaction. Prager’s one of the few willing and able to concoct such a complicated rationalization of male dissociation and condemnation of female awareness.