US reeling under mental health crisis

Mental illnesses are a grave public health issue in the United States. Psychiatric conditions make an individual feel depressed and low on energy and also impact his/her functioning ability. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), in 2015, there were over 43 million people aged 18 years or older in the country – representing about 18 percent of the adult population — with any mental illness (AMI) within the previous year.

Though disorders such as depression and anxiety are common across the country, there are certain regions that show greater incidences of these conditions. According to a study, conducted by the Mental Health America (MHA), most states with the highest prevalence of psychiatric problems and the lowest rates of access to mental health care are in the South and the West. States at the bottom 10 in the MHA ranking include Virginia, Louisiana, Indiana, Utah, Washington, Nevada, Arizona and Oregon.

In fact, Oregon has the worst performance among the total 50 states and the District of Columbia. Over the last few years, the state has been continuously ranked low for mental illnesses. Experts believe that two major factors are the cause for this dismal record. Those are limited number of psychiatrists due to poor salary and overburdening of the practicing doctors owing to which they do not consult new patients. Experts also say that the distrust among people with psychotic disorders is another factor leading to this problem. Neither do they visit any doctor nor do they get the much-needed treatment.

Can mental illnesses be avoided?

Although there is no sure-shot way to prevent the development of a mental disorder, one can take certain steps to keep it under control. Some of them are controlling stress, boosting self-esteem, being flexible, among others. Identifying the triggers whether they be biological, genetic or environmental, and keeping a check on the warning signs is important since ignoring them can worsen the condition.

One should also take regular medical care as well as maintain a healthy lifestyle so that the condition remains under control. Remember that any mental illness, substance abuse or a co-occurring disorder, can be treated with timely medical intervention. If a person is grappling with any such illness, he/she should immediately seek professional help from a reputed mental health care provider.

Seeking treatment

Fortunately, mental illnesses are treatable. But one must undergo regular treatment. When treated properly, many individuals either fully recover from their mental disorder or are able to control their symptoms. Treatment is available in the form of medications and therapies such as psychotherapy, group therapy and creative therapy. However, it is not mandatory that one treatment plan will fit the requirements of every individual dealing with a mental illness. In fact, the best suitable treatment for an individual with mental health problems can involve medications, psychotherapies or a combination of both.

If you or someone you know is dealing with any form of mental illness, the 24/7 Mental Health Helpline can help you find the best mental health practitioners in your vicinity. Call us at our 24/7 helpline number 855-653-8178 or chat online with one of our mental health specialists who can assist you with complete information about mental health facilities in the U.S.