Shoreline Sober Living, San Diego, CA
The cost of mental health

The Cost of Ignoring Mental Illness

Mental health cases are on the rise and it’s becoming apparent that mental health is a serious issue that isn’t being tackled effectively. In 2018, 19.1% of adults in the U.S had experienced at least one case of mental illness, totalling to 47.6 million people; equating to a fifth of all adults based in the United States.

By definition, the term “mental health” is defined by the World Health Organisation as, “a state of well-being in which an individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and is able to make a contribution to his or her community..



Factors Contributing to Poor Mental Health

Cases of mental health often stem from factors including socio-economic pressures, abuse, stress and/or traumatic events; however, there isn’t always a sole factor causing a person to suffer from poor mental health. Further inconspicuous events or incidents can also contribute to mental illnesses which may not be as obvious as others, such as:

  • Negative workplace environments
  • Loneliness
  • Drug and alcohol misuse
  • Unemployment
  • Bereavement
  • Discrimination
  • Social disadvantages i.e. suffering from debt or poverty

These stages can occur throughout a person’s life and at multiple times, often taking affect during the beginning of adolescence from the age range between 18 and 25 years old as this demographic had the highest prevalence of AMI (any Mental Illness at (25.8%).



How Much Does Mental Health Cost?

Many factors contribute to mental health, such as poor working conditions, but what is the true monetary cost of mental health?

Figures that accurately account for these costs are hard to predict, although the World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that anxiety and depression alone could cost the global economy 1 trillion dollars.

In the United States however, figures for substance abuse and mental illness cost US businesses an average of $90 billion. A secondary study found that serious mental illness costs the US a whopping $193.2 billion in lost earnings every year.


Common Mental Illnesses and their Definitions

Mental illness, also known as mental health disorders, take form in several ways which can affect mannerisms, behavior and a person’s mood.  Some of the most common mental health illnesses are listed below, alongside their definitions.

Schizophrenia – Hallucinations, delusions, and extremely disordered thinking and behavior that impairs daily functioning.

Addiction – substance use disorder, is a disease that affects a person’s brain and behavior and leads to an inability to control the use of a legal or illegal drug or medication.

Depression – feelings of severe despondency and dejection.

Anxiety – One of the most common forms of mental health disorders.

Mental health disorders take suit in various forms which may not be listed above. If you’re ever concerned about any symptoms you may be experiencing, consult with a qualified mental illness professional.


Common Mental Health Questions

What is the most common mental health problem?

Depression – Depression impacts an roughly 300 million people which generally affects women rather than men.

Can you recover from a mental illness?

Yes. By keeping your emotions and mental state of mind stable, many people recover permanently from mental illness. These recoveries commonly occur due to following treatment received from a medical professional.

What is mental health recovery?

Recovery from mental disorders and/or substance abuse disorders is a process of change through which individuals: Improve their health and wellness. Live a self-directed life. Strive to achieve their full potential.

How can you tell if someone is mentally ill?

Identifying whether someone is mentally ill could be identified by looking for the following sympotoms:

  • Sad feelings
  • A significant decrease in the ability to concentrate
  • Extreme emotions of guilt and/or worries
  • Mood changed to either extreme highs and/or lows
  • Withdrawal themselves from social activities and/or friendship groups
  • Consistently being tired or suffering from low energy levels

How to prevent mental illness

There’s no sure way to prevent mental illness. However, if you have a mental illness, taking steps to control stress, to increase your resilience and to boost low self-esteem may help keep your symptoms under control.

Self-Diagnosing Mental Health

The era of the internet has resulted in information to be accessible within seconds. With such vast amounts of information at hand, the art of self-diagnosing your own symptoms has skyrocketed among patients. By identifying a medical condition by yourself, you run a high risk of misdiagnosing yourself and causing further stress or mental illness. In some of the worst cases, these events could be fatal to oneself.

If you’re ever unsure about mental health or any other medical condition, it is always best practice to consult a medical professional rather than self-diagnosing your own symptoms.

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