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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Mental Illness costing Americans $300 billion annually

Keep in mind that many mental illness problems are preventable and reversible.  There are even ways to help with natural molecules rather than drugs.  Distance counseling in the privacy of your own home is available at

CDC: Mental Illness costing Americans $300 billion annually


Nearly half of all Americans experience mental illness at time point in life.

According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about half of all Americans will experience some form of mental health problems during their lifespan. THE CDC defined mental health problems as ranging from depression to post-traumatic stress disorder to suicide, noting that often these mental health problems are not addressed.

The new CDC report, “Mental Illness Surveillance Among Adults in the United States,” describes the extent of mental illness among U.S. adults and recommends increased efforts to monitor mental illness and anxiety disorders.

Most shocking from the report is the cost associated with treatment and loss of productivity.

There are “unacceptably high levels of mental illness in the United States,” said Ileana Arias, principal deputy director of the CDC. “Essentially, about 25 percent of adult Americans reported having a mental illness in the previous year. In addition to the high level, we were surprised by the cost associated with that — we estimated about $300 billion in 2002.”

It still remains unclear as to why there is a high rate of mental illness in the U.S. or what factors are influencing mental health.

It has been shown that mental disorders have a link to chronic illnesses, including cancer and heart disease. Additionally, psychiatric illness and other mental health issues are surrounded by stigma, which adds to the burden.

A 200 survey performed by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration found that about 11 million people experienced serious mental health illnesses during the past year. This represents about five percent of the population. Additionally, about 84 million Americans reported having suicidal thoughts and 2.2 million Americans made plans to kill themselves, over the past year. Unfortunately, about one million American attempted suicide last year, according to the report.

These numbers may seem alarming, but more importantly, it brings attention to an overlooked issue. Mental health illnesses are increasing in the U.S. and understanding for how to help people deal with them is important. Thus more programs should be made available to help people and their families.

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