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Are Mental Illnesses Increasing?

Various factors play a role in mental illnesses increasing. Though mental illness has been around since the beginning of humankind, advancements in technology and the medical sector allow us to monitor mental health trends and statistics to gain considerable insight into how rapidly mental illness cases are rising.

With our population growing each year, it’s only natural to assume that so would the population of people with a mental illness. However, it’s vital to question why this is the case and what some of the leading causes are. In this article, we’ll look at some numbers regarding the rise in mental illnesses, as well as the different types, their causes, and common symptoms.

What are the Most Common Mental Illnesses?

Dozens of mental illnesses affect people all over the world. Some may be more severe than others, but they all take a toll on one’s mental health, leading to other issues later down the road. Some of the most common mental health conditions include the following:

  • Substance abuse affects millions of people worldwide. It’s recognized as a disorder when individuals begin to abuse intoxicating substances that create a struggle with control, compulsion, and withdrawal. An individual is considered an addict when substance abuse interferes with their day-to-day tasks, activities, and relationships; this can include:
    • Behavioral changes.
    • Frequently getting into fights, accidents, and participating in illegal activities.
    • Using substances in dangerous situations, such as while in the workplace or while operating a vehicle.
    • Engaging in suspicious activity.
    • Dramatic changes in appetite and sleep patterns.
    • An unexplained shift in personality.
    • Lack of Motivation.
    • Periods of unusual agitation or hyperactivity.
    • Paranoia, anxiety, and intense fear.
    • Sudden changes in friends and hobbies.
    • Legal issues related to substance abuse.
    • Unexplained financial problems.

Substance abuse can also bring forth physical changes and issues, including the following:

  • Bloodshot eyes.
  • Abnormally sized pupils.
  • Sudden weight loss or weight gain.
  • Deterioration of physical appearance.
  • Unusually smelly breath and body odor.
  • Tremors, slurred speech, and impaired speech.
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder arises after a stressful event that happened in the past. Certain experiences can trigger PTSD. PTSD symptoms include depression, impaired concentration, mood swings, short temper, insomnia, loss of energy, and uncontrollable thoughts and actions.
  • Dementia is a decline in brain functions and impairments in thinking, memory, and reasoning.
  • Schizophrenia is an extreme long-term condition that affects the mind. It’s often characterized as a form of psychosis because its symptoms include hallucinations, delusions, and muddled thoughts.
  • Bipolar Disorder is a severe mood disturbance. We can break it down into two types: Bipolar l, which involves episodes of mania and depression, and Bipolar ll, characterized by more frequent periods of depression and lower manic episodes.
  • Anxiety is when individuals suffer from persistent worries and fears and avoid anxiety-inducing situations. In more severe cases, anxiety can lead to phobias and panic attacks.
  • Clinical Depression is an extreme form of depression that makes individuals feel intense and persistent sadness for a period of weeks and even months. Other symptoms include feelings of hopelessness, a loss of appetite, low self-esteem, and insomnia or oversleeping.

Key Statistics

It’s difficult to portray the severity of mental illness through words alone. With mental illnesses increasing, taking a look at the numbers helps visualize the rise in cases. These are some essential statistics that address the mental health issues in the United States over the past year.

  • Rates of substance abuse have been on the rise. In the past year, 7.74% of adults in the United States and 4.08% of youth suffered from a substance abuse disorder. These rates are a 0.07% increase for adults and a 0.25% for youth in the span of a year.
  • A study conducted in 2022 found that before the COVID-19 pandemic, 19.86% of adults experienced a mental illness—that’s almost 65 million Americans in the country.
  • Suicidal ideation is on the rise among adults in the U.S. The national suicide rate has seen a steady increase every year since 2011-2012—about 4.58% of adults in the country report having serious thoughts of ending their lives.
  • The percentage of youth in the U.S. living with major depression continues to grow. 08% of youth experienced a major depressive episode in the past year.

By looking at the numbers, the hope is that individuals who are struggling with a mental illness related to addiction will recognize that they aren’t alone in their struggle and that they will take the necessary steps to get the help they need. Whether this is through the help of a support circle or their own, taking that first step is crucial to the recovery process.

Why Mental Health Issues and Substance Abuse Occur Together

Mental health issues and substance abuse have the power to influence one another. This influence between the two conditions happens when:

  • Certain substances cause people with addiction to experience one or more of the symptoms that come with mental health issues—certain drugs can trigger symptoms.
  • Mental health issues impede a person’s impulse control, decision-making, and ability to think rationally. These mental issues can lead people to self-medicate and abuse substances to solve their problems.

It’s no secret that these conditions overlap, which can be defined as comorbidity. Comorbidity means that a mental illness and substance abuse co-exist, so individuals who suffer from addiction will most likely suffer from an underlying mental health condition.

Get the Help You Need at Ardu Recovery Center

With mental illnesses increasing, it’s crucial to give individuals suffering from addiction the help they need to move forward with their lives. At Ardu Recovery Center, we believe in rising up together. Our state-of-the-art facility in Provo, Utah, gives recovering addicts the best setting to live a sober life. We work 24/7 to ensure residents get the care and support they deserve.

Get in touch with our addiction specialists today so that we can get started on a unique treatment plan to help you overcome your addiction.