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Every year, as many as 16 individuals for every 100,000 people in the world commit suicide as a result of some underlying mental problem. In the United States, this number is 11 for every 100,000 people. If the statistical data compiled by the World Health Organization (WHO) is to be believed, around 25 percent of the world population suffers from some or the other mental illness at some point in life.

Experts are of the opinion that stress and depression are two important factors which drive a person towards such psychological problems and sadly, these two factors have become the characteristic features of the lifestyle that we follow today.

Mental Illness Facts and Figures

In the United States, mental health disorders are diagnosed on the basis of guidelines specified in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) published by the American Psychiatric Association. If statistics are to be believed, 1 in every 4 adults suffers from some mental disorder at some point of time. Further analysis of the data reveals that 1 in every 17 people in the United States suffers from some serious mental disorder.
  • One of the most serious mental disorders, schizophrenia affects 1 in every 100 people across the world. In the United States, around 2.4 million people suffer from schizophrenia, which is nearly 1.1 percent of the total population of the country.
  • Every year around 5.7 million people are diagnosed with bipolar disorder in the United States alone, which is approximately 2.6 percent of the total population of the States. Statistics reveal that the median age for onset of this disorder in the United States is 25 years.
  • Approximately 3 million Americans are at the risk of suffering from panic disorder or panic attack at any given point of time. More importantly, 1 out of every 3 people suffering from panic disorder is vulnerable to agoraphobia―the fear of open spaces.
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (abbreviated as OCD) is yet another mental illness with a high incidence rate in the United States, with as many as 2.2 million cases of the same. Approximately, one-third of the cases of this disorder can be traced to childhood.
  • Affecting around 7.7 million individuals in the United States, the Post-traumatic Stress Disorder is yet another disorder which has a high incidence rate in the country. There is no particular age for the onset of this disorder. It is most often known to follow some traumatic incidence in life.
  • Approximately 3 percent of the US population, which amounts to around 6.8 million people, suffers from Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). Even though there is no particular age of onset for this disorder, people in early 30s are most vulnerable to the same.
More than 90 percent of people who commit suicide have some or the other diagnosable mental disorder. Mental health features at the third position in the list of most prominent causes of homelessness for single individuals in the US. Similarly, the data compiled by the Department of Health and Human Services, reveals that the estimated number of children suffering from mental disorders lies anywhere between 7.7 and 12.8 million.

A World Health Organization study has revealed that 4 of the top 10 causes of disability in the developing countries are mental disorders. At the current rate, these illnesses are bound to replace all the other diseases as the leading cause of disability the world over by 2020.