CDC: ‘Nearly 50% of U.S. Adults Will Develop at Least One Mental Illness’
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention says that at any given moment about a quarter of American adults are mentally ill and that over the course of their lifetimes about half of all Americans will develop at least one mental illness.
A CDC mental-health fact sheet–Mental Illness Surveillance Among U.S. Adults–says that “published studies report that about 25% of all U.S. adults have a mental illness and that nearly 50% of U.S. adults will develop at least one mental illness during their lifetime.”
Half of US Adults Due for Mental Illness, Study Says
The report said mental illnesses are associated with numerous other chronic health disorders, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity, and that treating mental illnesses can reduce their effects.
“People with mental disorders should seek help with the same urgency as any other health condition. Treatment and support services are effective and people do recover,” Hyde said.
Abnormal Is the New Normal
he increasing number of disorders comes about because some “problems” that were not previously considered to be mental illness were reclassified as such by their inclusion in the DSM—and it is the DSM that functionally defines mental illness in the United States.
As an example, prior to the DSM-IV, there was no diagnosis of Asperger’s syndrome; rather, people with what is now called Asperger’s would have been diagnosed with autism (“high functioning” autism) or not diagnosed at all. This syndrome was added as a separate disorder to highlight the different forms that autism symptoms may take and to focus research on the most effective treatments for Asperger’s. Others, however, claimed that the diagnostic label pathologized quirkiness. (In DSM-5, Asperger’s is classified as a subtype of a newly consolidated single diagnosis “autism spectrum disorder.”)