Twenty Percent Of Americans Had Mental Illness In Last Year

A shocking statistic, made worse when you learn that 60% of the mentally ill did not receive any treatment. From MedPage Today:

About 20% of American adults reported having had a mental illness during the preceding year, a government survey found.

The figure rose to almost 30% of those in the 18 to 25 age group, compared with 14.3% of patients 50 and older, according to researchers from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).


And of the nearly 46 million U.S. adults who reported having had a mental, behavioral, or emotional disorder when surveyed in 2010, some 60% didn’t receive any treatment for the condition.

The most common reason for not getting mental healthcare was not being able to afford it.

The researchers noted that although the 20% figure is “relatively high,” just 5% reported having serious issues that interfered with their normal activities.

Although more of those with serious mental illness reported receiving treatment, a large proportion — 39% — didn’t receive any mental health services.

The unemployed, Medicaid beneficiaries, and those living below the poverty level were more likely to have mental illness in the preceding year, as were younger patients. Women appeared to be at greater risk than men (23% versus 16.8%)…

[continues at MedPage Today]


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43 Comments on "Twenty Percent Of Americans Had Mental Illness In Last Year"

  1. Apathesis | Jan 21, 2012 at 8:41 pm |

    Bullshit statistics.  20% of people SURVEYED said they had mental illness within the last year, not 20% of Americans.

  2. Mr Willow | Jan 21, 2012 at 8:42 pm |

    It’s no wonder when everything is so damn depressing; when we are expected to live stressed to the point of complete mental breakdown because of medical bills, student loan bills, credit card bills; watching ‘education’ being steadily degraded into nothing more than a test factory; expected to do nothing but toil at some meaningless task day after day after day; filling the void left by the absence of any sort of spiritual, mental, or emotional fulfillment with material possessions and cheap entertainment that afford nothing but a distraction to the destruction of the natural world and morbid boredom that’s slowly crushing us all to death. And when anyone suggests a new way of doing things they are told that things are now as good as they ever shall be or function as well as they ever have, and that such talk is subversive, treasonous, or insane. 

    Does thinking you’re the last sane person on Earth make you crazy?

    • Lithops10 | Jan 21, 2012 at 8:58 pm |

      There is someone else out there???!!!!!

    • GoodDoktorBad | Jan 21, 2012 at 9:08 pm |

      That depends on who you ask the question to. Better not to ask at all. It would be insane to expect a sane answer.
      Welcome to paradox….

    • Anarchy Pony | Jan 21, 2012 at 9:19 pm |

      Are you secretly a woman and are you single? Because I think I want to marry you.

    • gwen jackson | Jan 22, 2012 at 1:31 am |

      i don’t know dude…yes and no…
      I pretty much agree that most americans qualify as psychotic, but I have no sympathy for them.
      “Oh, boohoo, americans are so stressed out, wah!”
      If americans think their pampered, spoiled, overprivileged lives are so stressful, they should consider that they wouldn’t survive a day in the average life of one of the nationalities we’re trying to destroy.
      You think your life is stressful? Poor baby!
      Now try to imagine it without running water and 2 hours of electricity a day if you’re lucky; you know, the way an average Iraqi or Libyan lives since we decided to “liberate” them. And remember, they HAD water and electricity BEFORE we fucked with them.
      Remember no electricity means no air conditioning, and it’s HOTTER THAN HELL in the middle east.
      America is a bunch of whiny fucking tittybabies. Can’t fucking wait for Rome to fall and watch how you all cry and scream.
      “Then I’m gonna laugh like a motherfucker, I’m gonna laugh like a motherfucker!”

      • Mr Willow | Jan 22, 2012 at 4:40 am |


        I don’t disagree that our physical existences could be a hell of a lot worse, but that was pretty damn insensitive considering both the fact that without our government respecting our will concerning all of the invasions and military destablisations—and all the misery associated with them—we have no control over any of that and without some sense of ourselves beyond being slaves to the advertisers (both corporate and political) that continually force-feed us the ‘virtues’ of consumption and nationalism we can do nothing to either stop or correct the atrocious acts committed by our leaders. 

        Do you just not understand that a majority of people in this country do not contemplate anything beyond “I wonder what’s on TV tonight?” How in the name of all that is holy are we supposed to achieve any positive change with that sort of populace?

        And you have the audacity to carelessly fling your petty insults in response to what was designed to be an assessment of the fundamental problem of our societal condition—namely that we exist as the soulless, uneducated, perpetually indebted collective workhorse of the very people who sit around dreaming up new ways to exploit every single resource they can lay claim to either through purchase or force, completely devoid of passion to even save ourselves because we feel so systematically crushed by every single pervailing authority, and are expected to behave as the emotionally anesthetised flesh cogs of some machine we neither built nor understand. And those that do understand do not like it—and many among them actively hate it—yet any suggestion to alter its makeup is decried as anti-patriotic, and any outcry to dismantle it, to construct something beautiful in its place, based upon equality, respect, and basic human decency, are lambasted as preposterous, or grounds for imprisonment under charges of terrorism. 

        You can spare me your childish spite.

      • Are you quoting Ministry?

    • EyeoftheAxis | Jan 22, 2012 at 1:45 am |

      Terry Gilliam’s Brazil

  3. DeepCough | Jan 21, 2012 at 9:32 pm |

    Now how did these Twenty-percenters know they had a mental illness when there is no concrete diagnostic test to verify as such in the first place?

  4. Anomaly_of_Anomie | Jan 21, 2012 at 10:26 pm |

    It seems that those who need healthcare most are also the ones who can’t afford it. 

  5. Selgnorts | Jan 21, 2012 at 11:04 pm |

    Someone once said that if fifty one percent of the population went around biting the heads of chickens that would be deemed normal.
    Whatch out world !

  6. Divine Magic Teleportation | Jan 21, 2012 at 11:25 pm |

    And everyone wonders why..


  7. Hadrian999 | Jan 22, 2012 at 1:39 am |

    considering the fact that every kind of behavior outsider of a cubefarmed wage slave running on the consumer treadmill is being classed a disorder it inst surprising at all

  8. Satisfied | Jan 22, 2012 at 2:58 am |

    Just because people are feeling
    overwhelmed does not mean they have a mental illness (this is big
    pharma misinformation). While mental disorders are around, it does
    not take a doctor to see when someone has truly gone bananas, its
    quite obvious. I do agree that the health care system does not treat
    the ones who need it most and does not advocate preventing illness
    with proper diet and adequate life style according to the area where
    one resides. What I recently read from a free professional nutrition
    blog which I had a good feeling about, the over consumption of
    alcohol, malnutrition and false information being fed to people is
    whats causing the problem that’s being covertly reported as
    insanity its not insanity its MISERY. The brain can not function
    correctly without the proper fuel and information (memetics), so its
    not case of insanity but inefficiency of the brain due to less than
    adequate conditions, such conditions make people feel miserable which
    can be mistaken for insanity(and I like drinking I just know it
    causes many problems that are not instantly apparent if one overdoses
    regularly unless someone is puking their brains out or having some
    drunken emotionally revealing monologue). The ones that are insane
    are the sadistic politicians and their feeble minded and enslaved
    police/military/”medical” force. Sometimes for people to feel
    better they just need some comfortable guilt free alone time so they
    can recharge and regain their inner peace. One of the worse things a
    person can do to another is making them feel bad when alone in the
    comfort of their own homes, in their own skin. One of the ways to
    counter this diluting of the American society by the negligent and
    abusive supposedly democratically appointed rulers (in my opinion),
    is to take care of things close to you, the people in your immediate
    vicinity with kindness and compassion and hopefully they will pay it
    forward creating a chair reaction of goodness, and that includes
    being kind to oneself by being self aware and not selfish. All you
    can do is take care of whats in front of you right now, anything else
    in the world is just a theory, a possibility, until it has manifested
    in your personal space. Everything is possible!! Makes yourself happy
    while not hurting anyone, be innocent. Think happy thoughts and
    imagine a different reality in your minds eye when you have the free
    time. The proper use of the mental faculty referred to as imagination
    is the down payment on the ticket out of this mess we were born into.
    Good luck Have fun!

    • Satisfied | Jan 22, 2012 at 3:02 am |

      In short: 60% of Americans were miserable in the past year, not insane. Due to miserly attempts at governing from the self appointed elite. 

      • Satisfied | Jan 22, 2012 at 4:10 am |

        If your body is harmed due to your own negligence and ignorance of its “True” needs, it will punish you either immediately or at a later time with mental and or emotinal disconfort which may seems like its coming from nowhere or has to do with something completly irrelavent that should not be bothering a seemingly healthy individual. Which if not corrected with tender love and care later crystalises into a physical illness.  :True story:  

        This is from one of my favorite artists Aesop Rock 

        “I’m compelled to spill a vision For the sinners that listen, I got three spikes and a thorned crown It seems I need a new soul cuz mine is worn down But from the pregance of my hardship was born style Still my pen bleeds and stains the paper with thought Finding me lost among statues of mainstream idols Drowning in melted ice to reinforce that breath is vital If your father and his father were fish out of water You must break the cycle How many times must a plant be uprooted for it to die? When it’s smothered with lies that abolish the potency of the sky So when the stars burn out and God replaces the bulbs With a million watts And throws the switch, sparks filament Hurting new giants and flocks I stand on my own two aura illuminated in red Showcasing the agony held within this welded spirit Sacrificing itself for the health of a masocistic culture Yearning for the truth that we speak but refuse to hear it”

        ok im done I think 🙂 

  9. With every incarnation of the DSM (I think they are up to number 5 now) more and more behaviour is being classified as a sign on mental illness. I’d take these findings with a grain of salt (table salt will do but lithium carbonate is also a popular choice among the mentally imbalanced this spring)

  10. If I believe I’m mentally ill, am I wrong?

    • EyeoftheAxis | Jan 22, 2012 at 4:49 pm |

      The most sane people I know admit to being a little bit crazy in some ways. The people that can not admit to something like that are usually pretty hard to deal with.

      • Satisfied | Jan 23, 2012 at 12:02 am |

        humility is one thing but admiting to being mentally ill is a bit wierd. You don’t want people that depend on you for support thinking you are missing some bolts.

        • Better that you not admit the truth and people depend on you more?


          • Satisfied | Jan 23, 2012 at 8:43 am |

            If you are really mentally ill you would not be able to differenciate between what is true and not true. Its better to be positive and man up. Everyday is a blessing and in reality the truth about anything is really freakin hard to pin down. If you want to go under the care of pill pushers because of a few neurotic episodes that come from the stresses of modern life which is quite experimental be my guest, but when they drown out your soul with drugs you might just fit in with the rest of the walking dead. Not being positive is denial. Got to have a strong mind to make in this world. I rather instill confidence in the ones that depend on me than show weakness about something that is not even fully proven scientificaly. In my opinion if you are not abusing anyone or abusing yourself and pulling truly psychotic shit, you just need a few days of R&R. Now those poor soldiers that come back from war are the ones that need psychiatric help because they were kinda crazy to go into the military in the first place. So step aside and stop being a hypochondriac and let your optimism about life soar you into the hights of peak experience. 

          • You lost me at “man up,” which is not a phrase a mentally healthy person uses.

          • Satisfied | Jan 23, 2012 at 11:20 pm |

            You would not want to work under me ever (not saying you are below me or anything) or play sports in my team. I would drive you truly crazy or maybe turn you into a well oiled machine. If I don’t think im insane? Am I not?

          • Satisfied | Jan 23, 2012 at 11:26 pm |

              If you are going to try to counter point  you need to put a little more effort in writing after I spend all this time answering you with the best of my reasoning abilities. This is a half assed bias answer from someone who is stubornly convinced they are insane. Maybe being a little crazy is normal to me. all the best and maybe you should go see a doctor if you think this is going to make you feel better about your mental state as this is the land of the free I rather not be part of the scam to peddle snake oils. And man up mean: snap out of your dillusions and have a little more confidence.

          • Satisfied | Jan 23, 2012 at 9:07 am |

            Can’t depend on people that whine about
            every single mental and or emotional discomfort they experience,
            that’s the opposite of being dependable, that’s being super needy
            and only abusive people are attracted to needy people, its a vicious
            cycle. The mind is like a holodeck where renderings of almost
            anything can occur, but it does not mean it mirrors your current
            reality and people that try to censor their thoughts eventually
            become very confused and in turn need heartfelt advice from truly
            caring individuals, not pill pushers. The mind displays some
            uncomfortable scenarios before they happen so you have a chance to
            stop them or it displays wonderful scenarios and ideas giving you a
            chance to create them and bring them into reality making your world a
            better place, its truly a double edged sword.  Sometimes it does
            become obsessed and neurotic when the individual is not adept at
            carrying out the orders their own intuition gives.

          • Satisfied | Jan 23, 2012 at 9:20 am |

            And andrew my friend if you are dehydrated and or lacking in electrolytes your mind can skip a beat or two and so can the rest of the body and most people are dehydrated, if your pee is yellow and you didnt take any synthetic supplements you are probably dehydrated. So there are your meds, nutricious food, enough water, some salt and I also like to smell coffee and take in the aroma then the savor it slowly with an impish grin.  

          • That I agree with.

      • EyeoftheAxis | Jan 23, 2012 at 10:47 pm |

        I was thinking slightly neurotic, a little OCD, perhaps managing addictions, the kind of thing I catch myself or a friend doing and we laugh about it … but crazy comes in all sorts of flavors.

        • Satisfied | Jan 23, 2012 at 11:32 pm |

          The world is in an experimental and transition stage, new phenomena create different reactions within us reactions the medical astablishment seems to want to profit from. All you have described to me is what i see as accentricity in others and eccentric people are my kind of people. Now where is my sombrero temporary tattoos and water guns ? A neurotic episode can range from a song stuck in your head to constant suicidal thoughts and the medical folk would give the same drugs for both.Now if you dont want to have a song stuck in your head dont listen to 80’s music its a trap!!!

    • Satisfied | Jan 22, 2012 at 8:12 pm |

      yes. its crazy not to be positive 

  11. I was mentally ill.  I was diagnosed with chronic depression. Then I got divorced. Now that my sociopath of an ex husband is gone I don’t get depressed anymore.

  12. That´s what happens when people are told to believe all kinds of weird shit like that the Earth is 6000 years old , that the U.S. Federal Government was good , that it´s ok to Islamize a country , that you can´t be proud if you´re white , etc. And how accurate is that 20% figure? What if it´s higher or even way lower?

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