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Posted on May 7th, 2014, by

Mental health of Americans has worsened

According to a new national survey conducted by the U.S. Ministry of Health’s specialized division, one in five American adults has a deviation in the psyche, one in twenty suffers from serious mental illness (SAMHSA News Release, 2012).

According to it, in absolute figures in America in 2010 there were approximately 46 million people aged 18 years and older who have an unhealthy deviation observed in the psyche, behavior or emotional state. This is 20% of the population in this age group. Approximately 11.4 million people (5%) had severe functional disorders that prevent normal life (MHA, 2012).

In addition, expert estimates that about 8.7 million adult Americans seriously thought about suicide, 2.5 million people had relevant plans, 1.1 million people committed suicide attempts. Among people with mental health issues there are also significantly increased incidence rates of alcohol, drug and other addictions (Ranking America’s Mental Health: An Analysis of Depression Across the States, 2012).

Experts indicate that the problem has the economic dimension as well, and it is large. However, the data they provide are of a decade ago: in 2002 “issue price” for the U.S. economy was estimated at 300 billion dollars (Granatir, 2007).

Studies of mental health of the nation are held each year in the USA. Sampling is very representative – 67.5 thousand people across the country. Compared with 2009, which was also critical for the U.S. economy, in the new report, all the major indices have declined slightly (SAMHSA News Release, 2012).

 

How Americans rate their health themselves

The survey data of Americans about what type of feelings / opinions about the state of their health they are closer to are provided below. At the same time they were also questioned about their habits, proper weight, exercise, and other factors of behavior and ways of life, which are considered as such which can influence the health of the interviewee.
Then, all respondents were – for the statistical calculation of their relative proportions – divided into three groups according to estimates of their own health that they are willing to tell their interviewers from the Gallup Organization:

excellent – excellent state of health and it seems (although interviewee has not applied to the doctor for a long time) medical card says the same thing;

good – good state of health in general and usually doctors also believe that it is quite normal health;

only fair state of health – it is still possible to survive (and also here – to this group, those who frankly have even complained about the poor health were also attributed)

Firstly, about the generally view of Americans on the overall state of their health over the study period, i.e. 2001-2005

 

According to the picture above the vast majority (about four-fifths) of Americans believed that their health is good or even excellent.

After that, the subject of more detailed statistical analysis becomes, as it was noted above, factors that could influence the health of Americans.

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