Nearly 1 in 5 Americans Have Mental Illness


depressed1More than 45 million Americans, or 20 percent of U.S. adults, had some form of mental illness last year, and 11 million had a serious illness, U.S. government researchers reported on Thursday.

Young adults aged 18 to 25 had the highest level of mental illness at 30 percent, while those aged 50 and older had the lowest, with 13.7 percent, said the report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration or SAMHSA.

The rate, slightly higher than last year’s 19.5 percent figure, reflected increasing depression, especially among the unemployed, SAMHSA, part of the National Institutes of Health, said.

“Too many Americans are not getting the help they need and opportunities to prevent and intervene early are being missed,” Pamela Hyde, SAMHSA’s administrator, said in a statement.

“The consequences for individuals, families and communities can be devastating. If left untreated mental illnesses can result in disability, substance abuse, suicides, lost productivity, and family discord.”

The 2009 mental health survey hints at the impact of record unemployment rates, which last year hit a 25-year high as struggling employers slashed jobs to cope with a weak economy.

For many, lost employment meant loss of health insurance, leaving many of the nation’s mentally ill unable to get treatment.

According to the survey, 6.1 million adults last year had a mental health need that went untreated, and 42.5 percent said it was because they could not afford it.

It found 14.8 million Americans had major depression last year, and 10 percent of the jobless did, compared with 7.5 of retired people or those not in the job force, 7.3 percent who worked part time and 5.4 percent who worked full time.

Only 64 percent of adults aged 18 or older with major depression were treated last year, compared with 71 percent a year ago.

Being jobless also increased the risk of suicide.

Adults who were unemployed last year were twice as likely to have serious thoughts of suicide as people who were fully employed, with 6.6 percent of the unemployed considering suicide, compared with 3.1 percent of those who were working.

The survey also found that 23.8 percent of women had some form of mental illness, compared with 15.6 percent of men.



  1. its not the answer for everyone, but there are alot of people in the yiddishe community who have found good chinese herbalists and have had relief from their tzar, sometimes it really can help. zol zein a refuoh shleama

  2. Been there, done that….as the saying goes. Only one solution..ONE….and this is experience talking. The firm belief that HKBH is in charge of everything in your life and that whatever happens to you is meant to be. Yes, it isn’t easy, life is tough…and you have to go through it, one way or the other, but fighting internally for something that will never be,having expectations,fighting the inner forces…that’s what makes you sick. No, you cannot change your circumstances, however bitter they may be,but you can change the way you perceive them, and therein lies the cure to all of it. Trust me, it ain’t an easy job getting there, but well worth the time, effort and trip there….and a lot of Siyatta Dismaya…Asking Hashem to help you in your quest to receive whatever he has in store for you. Your heart becomes lighter, and no matter what it is that happens to you from that point on, is taken with a grain of salt….It’s ok, it will pass, it ain’t the end of the world. Not easy to change your thinking habits,but, boy, what a metamorphosis when you get there, try it ya all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. And for those who are going to post about chemical imbalances…..been there, done that. What unbalances your chemistry is that fact that most of us are negative thinkers and try feeding your body poison every day. See where that takes you. The same is with the mind. It’s the chicken and the egg theory. You feed it poison, you get back poison. Your thoughts are the one thing you can control and feed. You are in charge of your mind, you can feed it good stuff, positive stuff or you can feed it poison. And that, my dear friends is the chemistry issue.. Start slowly,, by changing your attitude, seek help to help you on the road to positive thinking and with Hashems help, you will get there. Believe me….been through everything. Heard it all, from Doctors who tell you you are doomed for life…Don’t listen to them. Listen to what the Torah has to offer, read Musser, do everything in your power to create a warm and loving and positive inner you….and you will IYH improve and ride the waves of life more smoothly than ever. The waves will still be there,but you will be in charge, like a great swimmer, against the current.

  4. Really. And who is doing the diagnosing? This is higher than any other estimate I’ve ever heard. Are the people doing the evaluating psychiatrists, clinical psychologists, licensed social workers? Depression is diagnosed so often that it rivals the common cold in incidence.

    “Mental illness” is a term which is used so loosely as to be meaningless. It used to be reserved only for very serious conditions. If the 20 percent figure given here were true, our country would not be functioning.

    The person who is unhappy because he/she is out of work, having their house foreclosed on and without money to live on doesn’t have a mental illness if they’re upset and unhappy. Taking pills or herbs isn’t going to solve the problem. An intelligent jobs creation and retraining probram would work very nicely. Let’s see who has the courage to ram it through Congress.

  5. Pigeonholing people with a label is the hallmark of spiritual fools. Every human being alive on Planet Earth occupies some point on the healing/awareness spectrum. All behaviour is a result of mindset and setting. Public policy decisions from on high can affect the opportunities for self-actualisation of the people. Human beings are incredibly multi-faceted creatures with enormous potential. People with little emotional depth should be very careful of who they judge. There are deep metaphysical reasons why there is so much “dis-ease” on the Planet. The prophecies are clear that at some point in time when Messianic Sovereignty reigns from Jerusalem healing will flow outwards for the whole world. Humankind can be healed and brought up to a divine level of physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual potential.

  6. No problem “beast”…we can have the first session beginning now….I suppose your expertise in this field will come through as you take me on a course of real healing…..who knows…so let the therapy begin.
    free of charge…of course

  7. To: Rachel R snf anyone else with that mindset. You obviously have not worked with this population. What you are saying is like when someone has a virus and you tell them that if they take care of themselves that they won’t have to brech. Try it yourself.
    I have worked with people who have these issues. Its a chemical disorder most of the time, and they are suffering and cannot get out of it because their brain chemicals are malfunctioning. How odd that you really could think that its just a matter of these people are just emotionally sad. Maybe there are a few people out there who are sad, but some of them suffer from a disorder that is incredibly hard to get the person’s brain to balance so that they don’t suffer. You need to be more educated with this to understand more of what these people suffer.
    And yes, I also have heard that Chinese herbs can help for some people. Not all,but it has taken suffering away from some. Halevai for more…..

  8. Let’s see a statistic for how many people are making their parnassah in the field of mental health—that may explain the dramatic increase in diagnoses!!!