These days, mental health is recognized as a global issue that affects the lives of millions of patients, as well as those around them. With public awareness of the signs and symptoms of different mental health disorders at an all-time high, more individuals are able to acknowledge their own personal mental health issues and get the appropriate treatments. So, what are the most common mental health disorders? Read on to find out.
Mental health disorders have been found to be a common affliction within general society. According to the National Institutes of Mental Health (NIMH) 20.6% of US adults contend with a mental illness, or roughly 51.5 million adults.
The prevalence of mental illness was found to be higher among females than males (24.5% 16.3%, respectively).
Among different age groups, young adults between 18-25 years of years had the highest prevalence of mental illness (29.4%), compared to those aged 26-49 years (25.0%) and older adults, aged 50 and above (14.1%).
Mental illness was also found in association with racial identity. Adults identifying with two or more races were found to have the highest prevalence of mental illness among (31.7%), with white adults coming in second (22.2%) and adult Asians found to face the lowest prevalence of mental illness (14.4%).
Among US adults with a mental illness, some 23.0 million (44.8%) receive mental health support. Females received mental health support at a higher rate than males with AMI (49.7% vs. 36.8%, respectively).
About 38.9% of young adults between 18-25 years of age who are facing a mental illness receive mental health services. 45.4% of adults aged 26-49 with mental illness receive mental health support, as do 47.2% of adults aged 50 and older.
As the most prevalent group of mental health disorders, the anxiety family as a whole affects 18.1% of the US adult population, amounting to some 40 million individuals. Only 36.9% of those facing an anxiety-based disorder receive treatment. As a general rule, women are more likely than men to develop an anxiety disorder.
Anxiety itself is defined as a state of adverse hyperarousal: unlike fear, which is a basic survival mechanism that helps protect one’s life and safety, anxiety keeps the brain and body in a state of tension, even after a particular threat has been removed. As a result, the individual is unable to relax, as they remain focused on the possibility of falling into harm’s way. Persistent anxiety can significantly affect one’s quality of life and functioning, eventually meeting the criteria for one or more of the following, anxiety-based disorders.
The American Psychiatric Association’s (APA’s) latest guide to mental health conditions, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual’s fifth edition (DSM-V), includes the following conditions as part of the anxiety family:
Depression and depression-related disorders revolve around feelings of deep and unrelenting sadness, low mood, and irritation. Comorbidity between both families of disorders is quite common, with many individuals contending with a depressive disorder, in addition to an anxiety-centered one.
The DSM-V includes the following depression-based conditions in its depressive disorders chapter:
● Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder. Affects 2%-5% of premenopausal women. Most cases of premenstrual dysphoric disorder include extreme irritability, affective lability and a generally depressed/anxious mood prior to the menstruation. Symptoms of this condition tend to dissipate in the days following menstruation.