May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Statistics by the Centers for Disease Control states that 50% of all Americans will suffer from a mental health crisis and that on average every American adult will suffer from at least two bouts of depression in their life time. (Source: CDC, NAMI). Anxiety is actually the most common mental illness affecting 40 million American adults 18 years or older. 18% of the American population. Major Depressive Disorder affects 14.8 million American adults, or 6.7% of the American population. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder PTSD affects 7.7 million American adults or 3.5% of the American population. (Source: Anxiety and Depression Association of America. ADAA.) 5.7 million or 2.6% Americans suffer from BiPolar Disorder. (Source: Depression and BiPolar Support Alliance. [DBSA].) Obsessive Compulsive Disorder affects about 5 million American adults or about 2 to 3 percent. (Source: Psych Central). About 1 in 20 individuals live with Borderline Personality Disorder. (Source: NAMI.) These statistics are from those that seek help, and obtain a diagnosis. Imagine what the numbers might be with those who don’t seek help. Mental illness is now being called the “silent epidemic.” The good news is that these mental illnesses can be treated and recovery for many mental illnesses is not only possible, it occurs. Unfortunately there is still a stigma associated with depression and other mental illnesses and often people don’t seek help. Often because of fear of being out-casted to even shunned due to the stigmatization associated with mental illness. This stigma needs to stop. Stigma is caused because of the lack of education, knowledge, wisdom and empathy about mental illness.
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