Society is taking strides in understanding how to incorporate mental health care when addressing wellbeing. Mental health is arguably the most vital component to self-care and wellness, as it can impact daily living, relationships, and even physical health. Still, mental illness is so common among Americans that nearly one in five–about 51.5 million in 2019–U.S. adults is living with one. It includes many different conditions varying in degree of severity. But as health care addresses treatment approaches, it becomes imperative to understand which are the most common mental health disorders.
Disheartening as it is, poor mental health is a routine occurrence in daily life for millions. Some maintain, while others feel desperate for relief. In fact, it’s not uncommon for those suffering through mental health issues to self-medicate, despite the dangers, to achieve reprieve. If you’re battling mental health scares and facing substance abuse problems, call us right away 720-650-8055. Our online mental health and addiction programs offer flexibility and support.
What is Mental Health?
Mental health is a complex topic because it can appear different for every individual. In general, it refers to how a person thinks and manages emotions. Mental function is largely determined by personal experiences, impacted by negative or positive situations, common thoughts, relationships, and major life events.
Mental health is the foundation for emotions, thinking, communication, learning, resilience and self-esteem. It’s also key to relationships, personal and emotional well-being and contributing to community and society. – American Psychiatric Association
When experiencing negative emotions or events, a person is much more likely to develop a mental disorder. Under certain circumstances, a person’s patterns or changes in thinking, feeling or behaving can disrupt a person’s ability to function. A mental health disorder may affect how well a person:
- Maintains relationships
- Functions socially
Mental disorders can severely impact health and prevent many from performing at capacity. It can also push individuals toward substance abuse. What are the most common mental health disorders and how are people living through the symptoms?
Mental Health Disorders Defined
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), a guide developed by the American Psychiatric Association (APA), defines mental illnesses as “health conditions involving changes in emotion, thinking or behavior (or combination of these). They are associated with distress and/or problems functioning in social, work, or family activities.”
Sadly, millions of Americans live in shame of their mental illness. They may take measures to hide it or avoid situations or people to lessen the damages of mental illness symptoms. It can lead many to live very isolating lives. And mental health conditions are treatable.
Although they take on many forms, the most common mental health conditions offer treatment options that are highly effective. To learn more about online programs that may assist in mental health treatment that simultaneously addresses addiction, contact AspenRidge REACH.
Quick facts on mental illnesses:
- Nearly one in five (19%) U.S. adults experience some form of mental illness in their lifetime
- One in 24 (4.1%) has a serious mental illness
- One in 12 (8.5%) has a diagnosable substance use disorder
- In 2014, over 60% of mental illnesses were left untreated
- About 17 million children in the US have or have had a mental illness
- 80% of children with anxiety are not receiving treatment
What are the most common mental health disorders?
Common Mental Health Disorders
Mental illness does not discriminate; it can affect anyone regardless of your age, gender, geography, income, social status, race/ethnicity, religion/spirituality, sexual orientation, background or other aspect of cultural identity. While mental illness can occur at any age, three-fourths of all mental illness begins by age 24. Some of the most common mental health disorders include:
Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults nationwide age 18 and older. They are highly treatable, but less than 40% of those suffering receive adequate treatment.
Anxiety disorder is an excessive fear and paranoia that continues for a long period – usually weeks or months. These specific mental health disorders can range from common phobias and reactions to trauma to panic attacks and social anxiety.
In general, a person may be worried or afraid in a way that is out of proportion with a situation, person, place, or event. Anxiety can paralyze a person emotionally and mentally. They may avoid certain situations or people even when there is no reason to. Risk factors may include genetic, environmental, psychological, or developmental conditions.
There are several different types or classifications of anxiety disorders, include:
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
- Panic Disorder
- Social Anxiety Disorder
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
- Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
Treatment Options for Anxiety Disorder
Treatment options vary and should be tailored for every individual. What works for one person may not work for another. Most anxiety disorders nonetheless are treatable through various methods. Some approaches that have proved to effective include:
- Therapy – in-person or online
- Alternative Treatment
2. Clinical Depression
While anxiety and depression often overlap, they are separate conditions. Globally, depression impacts more than 264 million lives. It’s also the leading cause of disability worldwide, and a major contributor to the overall global burden of disease. In the U.S., as much as one in six adults 18 or older (16.6%) will experience depression at some time in their life. Additionally, women are more likely than men to experience depression.
Symptoms can include sadness, anger, withdrawal from daily life, or changes in sleep and behavior.
Depression can be psychological, inherited, or caused by external conditions or surroundings. A person may have thoughts of suicide. Additionally, depression can affect people of all ages for various reasons.
Other types of depression can include:
- Persistent depressive disorder
- Bipolar disorder
- Postpartum depression
Treatment Options for Clinical Depression
Depression is one of the most treatable among common mental health disorders. Between 80% and 90% of people who receive treatment for depression will respond well to it. A health professional should always determine the best approach, but here are some common treatment options:
- Group therapy
- Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)
3. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Commonly referred to as shell shock or battle fatigue, PTSD is most frequently associated with mental illness among military officers. Military officers and some psychiatrists say dropping the word “disorder” in favor of “injury”–or post-traumatic stress injury– can help to reduce the stigma that stops many troops from seeking treatment.
That said, PTSD is not exclusive to military active duty and veterans. Among common mental health disorders, this one affects approximately 3.5% of U.S. adults every year, or an estimated one in 11 will be diagnosed in their lifetime.
This psychiatric disorder that may occur in people who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event such as a natural disaster, a serious accident, a terrorist act, war/combat, or rape or who have been threatened with death, sexual violence or serious injury. It can also occur with indirect exposure to trauma, as well.
Treatment Options for PTSD
The main goals in treating PTSD include improving symptoms, teaching skills to deal with it, and restoring self-esteem. To some degree, treatment options seek to alleviate shame and guilt often associated with this mental health disorder. Common options include:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Group/Family Therapy
- Prolonged Exposure Therapy
- Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
4. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
While ADHD is common in children, it can carry over into later years and cause numerous problems in adult life. The primary symptom of ADHD is the inability to stay attentive or focused. In addition, a person may exhibit hyperactive or impulsive behavior.
Most adults do not realize that they have ADHD. Therefore, they may go years without a diagnosis or treatment. ADHD has been linked to substance abuse or reckless behavior. There is a wide range of treatments and management strategies available for ADHD.
Between 2.5% and 4.4% of U.S. adults have ADHD. Also, diagnosis rates among men are almost twice that of those in women.
Treatment Options for ADHD
ADHD is a disorder that affects a person’s brain and certain exhibited behaviors. While it’s among the most common mental health disorders, it’s not unmanageable. At this time, there’s no known cure for ADHD, but several options can help a person to manage their symptoms, include:
- Stimulant and nonstimulant medications
- Behavior therapy
- Social skills training
- Support groups
5. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
As a subset of anxiety disorder, OCD is one of the most common mental health disorders in the U.S. At present, as much as 2% of the population, or one in 50 people, suffer from OCD. In fact, more people suffer from OCD than from bipolar depression.
Those with OCD often suffer from unwanted, intrusive and obsessive thoughts or impulses that are uncontrollable. These intruding thoughts can include fears, unfounded worries, and a persistence to repeat patterned behavior. The latter often occurs when a person is tense or under stress. Certain events can worsen symptoms of OCD.
People with obsessive compulsive disorder can develop mild or severe symptoms. Those with mild cases may be able to control compulsions for certain periods of time. However, in severe cases, OCD can be a major disability impacting work, health, relationships, and more.
Treatment Options for OCD
Antidepressants that affect the neurotransmitter serotonin can provide relief for up to 75% of people with obsessive compulsive disorder. That said, medications are not the only means to support individuals living with OCD. Other treatment options include:
- Intensive outpatient treatment options
- Deep brain stimulation (DBS)
- Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS)
We’ve developed programs that help clients address common mental health disorders. We combine evidence-based and holistic practices to develop a tailored approach that targets mental health issues and treats substance abuse problems. Our programs are 100% virtual and as effective as in-patient treatment options. REACH’s knowledgeable staff can offer ongoing support and our licensed practitioners and here to provide supportive care during recovery.
For questions about our different program offerings and to get started with your mental wellness journey, contact us directly at 833-90-REACH.