From PsycheCentral – Misconceptions about Mental Illness

Mental illness is destructive, but thankfully it is still not all that common. According to a recent study by the National Institute of Mental Health, 18.6 percent of American adults (43.7 million people) will suffer from some form of mental illness in any given year. Among the adolescent age group (ages 13 to 18), the figure hovers right around the 20 percent mark. Up to 45 percent of these victims will have two or more diagnosable conditions simultaneously, while approximately six percent of the population currently suffers from a severe, disabling form of mental health disorder.

The incidence of mental illness has been exaggerated by doctors trolling for patients and pharmaceutical companies looking for easy targets. Mental health disorders are real and cause significant suffering. If the incidence of mental illness seems extraordinarily high, it is only because people are acknowledging what had previously been kept hidden behind a wall of shame and denial.

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