The number of people experiencing mental health illnesses and disorders has reached new heights because of the pandemic.
With over 970 million people worldwide experiencing mental health and/or substance use disorder, it’s no wonder why the entire month of May has been dedicated to mental health awareness.
In the United States alone, 59% of all Americans said that their mental health has been affected because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Globally, research has shown that mental illness affects males (9.3%) less than females (11.9%).
It is more crucial than ever to remove the stigma associated with mental illness. In this article about mental health statistics, we will discuss what is mental illness, its statistics in the US, worldwide, and its treatment.
We will also talk about the results of recent surveys done amid the global pandemic.
What is Mental Illness?
There are two categories of mental illness which are any mental illness (AMI) and serious mental illness (SMI).
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) defines AMI as any mental, emotional, or behavioral health problem that meets the criteria of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition (DSM-IV).
SAMHSA defines a person with an AMI as having an SMI if their disorder significantly limits or interferes with one or more key living activities.
Some of the most common mental health conditions are the following:
- Anxiety: Anxiety disorder is one of the most common mental health conditions because it’s characterized by constant fear, worry, and stress which can interfere with one’s daily activities.
- Depression: Major depression is characterized by a persistently poor mood, exhaustion, and severe sadness.
- Bipolar disorder: Bipolar disorder is characterized by extreme mood swings between depressive or “low” and manic or “high” states that might last weeks.
- Substance use disorder: The use of drugs and/or alcohol on a regular basis that affects a person’s day-to-day behavior.
- Eating disorders: These are illnesses that impair a person’s connection with food as well as their perception of their own body.
- Schizophrenia: Schizophrenia is a long-term mental illness that affects a person’s thoughts, feelings, and actions.
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD): PTSD is a disorder that affects people who have been through a traumatic or frightening incident and are having trouble recovering from it.
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD): OCD is a long-term anxiety disorder in which a person has uncontrollable, repeated thoughts that are followed by a behavioral response.
How Common Is Mental Health?
Even before the pandemic began, there have been some serious discussions on the spreading of mental health conditions, not only in the US but also in the entire world. With many organizations and government bodies educating as many people as they can, the stigma on mental health conditions and illnesses is still unbothered.
Here are some statistics on how common mental health is:
- Anxiety is the world’s most common mental ailment, impacting 284 million individuals worldwide. (2018, Our World in Data)
- A mental health or drug addiction disease affects 970 million individuals globally. (2018, Our World in Data)
- The top causes of disability in the United States were recognized as anxiety, major depression, alcohol use disorders, bipolar illness, schizophrenia, and dysthymia (chronic moderate depression) (U.S. Burden of Disease Collaborators, 2013)
- Mental illness affects more women (11.9%) than men worldwide (9.3%). (2018, Our World in Data)
- Mental diseases are thought to be responsible for 14.3% of all deaths worldwide, or around 8 million deaths per year. (2015, JAMA Psychiatry)
- Mental health patients have a much greater mortality rate than the overall population, with an average life expectancy loss of 10.1 years. (2015, JAMA Psychiatry)
Mental Health Statistics in the U.S.
- In 2018, over 8% of adults aged 18 to 25 suffered from a significant mental disease.
- In 2018, more than a quarter of adults aged 18 to 25 years old (26.3%) have a mental disease.
- From 2009 to 2017, the number of people aged 18 to 25 who had symptoms consistent with serious depression grew by 63%. The American Psychological Association (APA) published a report in 2019.
- Anxiety disorders are the most frequent mental ailment in the United States, affecting 40 million adults (18.1% of the population). (The American Anxiety and Depression Association)
Mental Health Statistics Worldwide
Here are some data on the global impact of mental health:
- 264 million individuals suffer from depression.
- There are 284 million people globally who suffer from anxiety.
- 71 million people suffer from drug addiction.
- A total of 107 million people suffer from alcoholism.
- 106 million people in the United States are affected by eating disorders.
- There are 20 million people globally who are affected by Schizophrenia.
- 46 million people worldwide are affected by bipolar disorder.
Mental Health Treatment
Treatment for mental illnesses differs depending on the type of problem. Those seeking therapy should speak with a doctor or a mental health professional about the various therapies and medications available to them.
Treatment can be costly, with therapy and drug expenditures ranging in the thousands of dollars. In 2013, the United States spent $187.8 billion on substance abuse diseases and mental health. Seventy billion dollars was spent only on depression therapy.
According to a study published in The Lancet Psychiatry, the overall cost of treating depression and anxiety disorders in 36 countries throughout the world is expected to reach $147 billion by 2030. Based on a projected and modest 5% increase in labor productivity, proceeding in a $399 billion economic gain, this cost will yield a net benefit.
Mental Health Treatment Statistics
Mental health services are defined as obtaining inpatient or outpatient therapy, counseling, or using prescription medicines for mental health concerns, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health.
- A section of college students suffers from mental health issues like anxiety, depression, or alcoholism. 2020 (Psychological Services)
- In one year, 15% of young adults in the United States (ages 18 to 25) got mental health treatment. SAMHSA (SAMHSA, 2018)
- 13% of students who have a mental health issue use on-campus resources like therapy. (2018, American Psychological Association)
- The majority of students (93 percent) are aware of on-campus mental health services. (2018, American Psychological Association)
- Despite the fact that more than half of young individuals involved in the juvenile justice system satisfy the basis for at least one psychiatric disease, just 15% have gotten treatment. (Judicial Justice and Delinquency Prevention Office, 2017)
- Only around a third of white teenagers receive mental health assistance, but around half of the minority adolescents do not. (National Alliance for Mental Health Advancement, 2007)
Do Insurance in the US Cover Mental Health Services?
According to healthcare.gov, almost all health insurance plans cover substance abuse and mental health therapies. Psychotherapy, counseling, inpatient care, and substance abuse treatment are among the options available.
Furthermore, most plans cannot deny you coverage because you have a mental health problem.
A 2006 study estimated the average cost and charges that provide optimal care and reimbursement to at least 418 community-based inpatient psychiatric care in the US.
In Medicare, the average cost of treatment are the following:
- At least 9 days for bipolar disorder treatment: $7,600
- At least 11 days for Schizophrenia treatment: $8,500
- At least 8 days for depression treatment: $7,000
Uninsured patients, according to a 2006 study, are more likely to receive substandard care. It’s worth noting that uninsured patients’ treatment times are shorter than those of insured individuals.
For uninsured patients, the average cost to get treatment are the following:
- At least 4 days for depression treatment: $3,600
- At least 7 days for Schizophrenia treatment: $5,700
- At least 5 days for bipolar disorder treatment: $4,400
Mental Health and COVID-19 Pandemic
With the world slowly adapting to COVID-19, it’s important to look at the statistics on the pandemic’s effects on mental health. In this section, we will discuss the data on how the pandemic has affected people’s overall well-being and mental health.
COVID-19 has had a negative influence on 59% of respondents’ mental health.
COVID-19 has impacted the mental health of nearly six out of ten survey participants. While only 20% of participants indicated they are unaffected, the majority said they are affected in some way:
- People who felt lonely make up 29% of the survey
- People who felt depressed makeup 35% of the survey
- People who felt isolated makeup 37% of the survey
- People who felt anxious make up 48% of the survey
- People who felt stressed out makeup 49% of the survey
These findings corroborate national data on COVID-19’s impact on mental health. The most typical reactions to COVID-19, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), are worry, guilt, social isolation, and concern about your loved ones or yourself from the virus.
COVID-19 can damage your quality of life and mental health even if you don’t receive it. There’s no denying that the global pandemic is altering people’s perceptions and feelings.
48% are concerned that being isolated from the coronavirus has harmed their mental health.
Psychologists have been studying the impact of social separation on mental health for decades. It’s obvious that social isolation isn’t good for individuals, and with COVID-19 isolating millions of individuals over the world, there will undoubtedly be consequences.
Loneliness was indicated by 29% of survey respondents, which has been linked to an increased risk of premature death.
According to a study published in 2015, social isolation can raise health risks as much as smoking 15 cigarettes per day or having an alcohol use disorder. A quarter of Americans who live alone may be particularly vulnerable to social isolation.
As a result of COVID-19, 36% of people have gained weight.
Cortisol, a stress hormone, has a deleterious impact on both the mind and the body. Cortisol fluctuations can influence inflammation, blood sugar levels, memory, and metabolism, in addition to worsening anxiety or depression.
Thirty-six percent of those polled claim they’ve gained weight as a result of the pandemic. It might be because outdoor leisure sites and gyms are closed, or because cortisol, as previously said, can influence metabolism.
A gain in weight was the third most common “symptom” of the pandemic stated by survey participants, after increased anxiety and stress levels.
For their mental health, 32% of respondents stated they’ve sought treatment or are taking medication.
There are therapies and medications available to help you feel better whether you’re suffering changes in your mental health as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic or something else.
Before beginning any medicine or treatment, always consult with a doctor or mental health expert, but here are the most common mental health therapies to consider:
- Medication – Healthcare professionals can prescribe a variety of drugs to aid persons who are suffering from mental illness.
- Alternative Medicine – Natural medicines and self-care solutions are used in CAM to treat mental health disorders. Medications are frequently considered a final solution after one or more of the following methods have failed: yoga, meditation, support groups, exercise, supplements, changes to diet
- Teletherapy – Teletherapy is a type of counseling that takes place over the phone or via video chat. It’s especially important during this global pandemic because it grants people to obtain the care they need while still focusing on the significance of mental health in the privacy and comfort of their own homes.
The expense of therapy/appointments doctors is the main obstacle to mental healthcare, according to 33% of respondents.
Finding the correct doctor is a hurdle for 14% of respondents, and 15% believe there is a stigma associated with mental health that prevents individuals from seeking treatment when they need it.
However, a third of survey respondents believe that the most significant obstacle to mental health care is cost.
There’s no denying that the health system in the United States is costly. In the United States, an hour of counseling can cost anything from $50 to $300.
Some insurance plans cover therapy costs, while others do not, and many people cannot afford these costs.
58% expressed concern about being unable to pay for their therapy or medication.
People are naturally concerned about the cost of mental health medications and treatments. To save money, 35% of respondents skipped prescriptions, and 43% skipped therapy appointments.
Adherence to medication is always vital, but it is probably even more so for persons with mental illnesses. Taking medication when you don’t need it can make your symptoms worse, and discontinuing it suddenly can have catastrophic consequences.
The number of people experiencing mental health disorders and illnesses around the world is no doubt increasing.
The important thing for our government to do now is to ensure that everyone who’s experiencing symptoms of the disorders or illnesses should get the treatment and medication that they need at affordable prices.