In light of World Mental Health Day today, I'd like to review recent statistics for Mental Health and things that you can do if you or someone you love suffers from symptoms of depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, or any other diagnosis that effects quality of life.
So first, the stats! According to the CDC,
- More than 50% will be diagnosed with a mental illness or disorder at some point in their lifetime.
- 1 in 5 Americans will experience a mental illness in a given year.
- 1 in 5 children, either currently or at some point during their life, have had a seriously debilitating mental illness.
- 1 in 25 Americans lives with a serious mental illness, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or major depression.
To make that a bit more personal, think about your family or a close group of friends. Chances are, 1 out of 5 of you have suffered or are suffering on some level. What’s more, depression is the number one cause of disability worldwide. These statistics are not just someone having a “bad day,” or something that is “all in their head.” Rather, these diagnoses are VERY real, and can be debilitating to individuals who suffer with them. It is vital to denote that statistics are often an educated hypothesis, as many who suffer from mental illness remain undiagnosed and untreated. Those from different regions across the world find themselves suffering from mental illness for various reasons, whether it is cultural pressures, societal challenges, past childhood trauma, genetic predisposition, hormonal changes, or something else. Historically, there has been a noticeable trend that points to a negative stigma associated with talking about mental health. However, like the human race normally does, we are evolving. Mental health is a vital component of discussion on social media, the workplace, within families and even appointments with your general practitioner. Perhaps the old viewpoint, that "suffering is normal" or "we can't talk about that" is changing to normalize mental health one day at a time. and that we don’t want to burden anyone or we feel like no one will understand so we hold it in. The important note here for those who are struggling with mental illness is that YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
This is something that is very near and dear to my heart. While being close to loved ones who struggle with mental health issues has hopefully made me more empathetic, it is impossible to fully understand the depth of exactly what each person goes through. However, being aware of warning signs and becoming informed on steps to take to help you or your loved one find treatment could possibly save a life one day. Plus, there are a number of different treatment options and clinical professionals with varying approaches that can work to find the best plan of action for each individual. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is an organization devoted to providing facts, support, information on treatment, and ways to get involved with a cause surrounding mental health.
Below are possible warning signs to look out for via NAMI:
- Excessive worrying or fear
- Feeling excessively sad or low
- Confused thinking or problems concentrating and learning
- Extreme mood changes, including uncontrollable “highs” or feelings of euphoria
- Prolonged or strong feelings of irritability or anger
- Avoiding friends and social activities
- Difficulties understanding or relating to other people
- Changes in sleeping habits or feeling tired and low energy
- Changes in eating habits such as increased hunger or lack of appetite
- Changes in sex drive
- Difficulty perceiving reality (delusions or hallucinations, in which a person experiences and senses things that don't exist in objective reality)
- Abuse of substances like alcohol or drugs
- Multiple physical ailments without obvious causes (headaches, stomach aches, vague, ongoing “aches/pains”)
- Thinking about suicide
- Inability to carry out daily activities or handle daily problems and stress
- An intense fear of weight gain or concern with appearance (mostly in adolescents)
If you relate to any of the above symptoms or you know someone who does, here are some steps to take towards treatment, recovery, and a healthier, happier you:
- Exercise has been clinically shown to decrease symptoms of depression and anxiety, as well as increase blood flow to the brain both during and after exercise, which can help with mental focus and alertness.
- Talk to someone; ask for help. It’s okay to schedule with your general health practitioner to get a referral to the appropriate mental health support.
- For those based in America, save this number in your phone: 988. This Suicide and Crisis hotline can be used to call, chat or message to get you the support you need in Emergencies.
- Research other helpful Mental health resources more specific to your scenarios and region. SAMSHA, NAMI, or if you are in need of global support, United for Global Mental Health.
- Talk to your Wellview provider about getting support, or simply email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more about your treatment and support options at Wellview.
Written by the Wellview Care Team | Email Concierge