What Are the Linkages Between Mental Health Statistics and Substance Abuse and Co-occurring Mental Health Conditions

mental health statistics

Mental health is something that is often not discussed among friends or loved ones. Few people like to admit they are suffering from mental disorders. But there are many millions more out there that don’t hesitate to admit that they are ill. And when you consider the stats on mental health treatment for those in the armed forces, the mentally ill in prisons, the mentally challenged children, and even those that die in car accidents, it’s clear that those who suffer need to be properly treated to ensure the nation’s mental health will remain strong. And while you look into the statistics on mental health treatment for those who are affected by mental disorders such as anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, schizophrenia, or other mental disorders, you’ll find that those who suffer need to be properly treated to ensure the nation’s mental health will remain strong.

An Overview

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Some might wonder what the relevance of mental health statistics is today. After all, with all the technology that surrounds us every minute of every day, it seems that we have become immune to most mental illnesses. Most of us get a hit once, but then the mental hit takes over, and things seem to get worse. Some might say that this is a sign of the times, as people live longer and have more access to guns and other weapons.

The truth is that the onslaught of stress, depression, anxiety, panic attacks, insomnia, bipolar disorder, diabetes, obesity, substance abuse, and other mental health conditions that plague our nation could be reduced if people would only seek help. That’s the great thing about the statistics mental health statistics we are seeing – they show that those that avail themselves of mental health services can rid themselves of their mental illnesses. They may have gotten treatment years ago, but the adverse effects of untreated mental illnesses can still be seen today. They can creep up on a person and they may not even realize what has happened to them.

A General Study

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So why does the general population have so many mental disorders? While some researchers attribute the large increase in the mortality rate of the general population over the last several decades to more people developing depression, anxiety, psychosis, and other mental disorders over time. Other researchers attribute the increase in mortality rate due to increased obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and other common health problems. Although scientists all agree that more people are turning to alternative treatments to treat their mental disorders, one thing is for sure: The vast majority of mental health disorders are not out of control and are nowhere near a true epidemic.

Let’s take a closer look at one of the most common mental illnesses and figure out what mental health statistics show about its effect on the general population. Overall, the mortality rate for people diagnosed with any mental disorder, including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and anxiety is relatively high. However, it should be noted that the suicide rate for these people is notably lower than the general population.

Rise In Stress Level

What causes this difference? One possibility is that our world in data, 2020, has become a more stressful place to live. Many researchers believe that the rise in the stress level is one of the main causes of the rising rate of serious mental health disorders. The United States, the world’s largest and most affluent country, has a tremendous amount of high-level stress in its citizens.

Another possibility is that the stigma associated with mental disorders and mental illnesses may also contribute to the increased mortality rate. It would seem that being labeled a “mental disorder” automatically makes people think twice about themselves and their abilities to function normally. Stereotypes can affect a person’s life in many ways and a person who experiences high levels of stress or poverty may become susceptible to serious mental illness. Finally, another key factor is that there are many more young people living with their parents. These children are more likely to grow up with behavioral health disorders than their parents.


As you can see, there is a strong correlation between substance abuse and co-occurring mental illness. The more that people abuse substances such as cocaine, methamphetamine, crack, marijuana, etc., the higher the chance that they will also have an anxiety or mood disorder. This is not a coincidence. When people have multiple substance abuse problems, they are at greater risk of becoming depressed, suffering from panic attacks, experiencing symptoms of psychosis, developing paranoia, and developing a substance use disorder. Living with a substance abuser can make living with co-occurring mental health conditions much more challenging.

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