Mental Health In America
May is Mental Health Awareness Month, but it is something you should be conscious of year round. Why? 1 in 5 U.S. adults experiences mental illness in a given year and 1 in 5 children ages 13-18 has or will have one at some time during their lives. Most common are mood disorders, such as depression and bipolar disorder.
So why is this important?
Often people with mental disorders suffer silently—they may be ashamed, not sure how to get help, or consider their disorder to be a life-long sentence rather than a temporary problem. Awareness can help break the stigma and give people the tools they need to help themselves or others with mental illnesses.
The stats are overwhelming—50% of students ages 14 and older with a mental illness drop out of high school. And sadly, suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death in youth (10-24). 90% of people who committed suicide had an underlying mental illness, which may have been preventable if treated.
Being able to look for signs that indicate something is “off” can help you identify a classmate, friend, family member, or even an acquaintance who may need help. There are many resources out there—half of the battle is navigating the system and finding a combination of treatments or therapies that fit.
MentalHealth.gov suggests being aware of these early warning signs:
- Eating or sleeping too much or too little
- Pulling away from people and usual activities
- Having little or no energy
- Feeling numb or like nothing matters
- Having unexplained aches and pains
- Feeling helpless or hopeless
- Smoking, drinking, or using drugs more than usual
- Feeling unusually confused, forgetful, on edge, angry, upset, worried, or scared
- Yelling or fighting with family and friends
- Experiencing severe mood swings that cause problems in relationships
- Having persistent thoughts and memories you can’t get out of your head
- Hearing voices or believing things that are not true
- Thinking of harming yourself or others
- Inability to perform daily tasks like taking care of your kids or getting to work or school
Mental health issues should never be something to be ashamed of.
As of 2017 there are over 7.5 million uninsured American adults with mental illnesses. If you are on prescribed medications for any condition, and you need help affording your prescriptions, download a free Watertree Health Prescription Discount Card or request a card be mailed to you. It provides significant discounts on almost all recommended medications (brand and generic).
Instructions and Disclaimer: The content on this website is designed for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses. Always consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you might have regarding your health.
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