If you’re having a difficult time coping with life, you’re definitely not alone these days. An estimated 20 percent of American adults are struggling with mental health issues—a figure most experts agree is on the low side. In fact, according to the World Health Organization’s World Mental Health Survey Initiative, half of all Americans will be diagnosed with a mental illness or disorder at some point in their lifetime.
While it might be the last thing you feel like doing, it’s important to reach out for help if you’re concerned about your mental health. Not sure where to turn? You can call 988 or your county’s mental health helpline. You can contact your medical provider. You can schedule an in-person or virtual appointment with a mental health professional. Try to be open about your struggles so you can get the guidance, care and support you need and deserve.
Here are some key facts and quick links to helpful information about mental illness.
Mental health disorders is a catch-all name for a wide range of psychological conditions that affect a person’s thinking, mood and behavior. The six most-common mental health disorders psychologists and therapists at Hazelden Betty Ford treat are:
Co-occurring disorders refers to the combination of a substance use disorder and one or more other mental health disorders, such as depression, anxiety or PTSD. Treatment for co-occurring disorders involves addressing both conditions as primary and inter-related versus treating one at a time. For example, if you are diagnosed with alcohol use disorder and an anxiety disorder (panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder), drinking is probably one way you manage your anxiety. Likewise, your anxiety symptoms probably worsen with your alcohol use. The conditions are deeply intertwined. Getting your anxiety symptoms under control will be an essential part of getting sober—and vice versa.
Mental health conditions are complex and, as with other illnesses or medical conditions, it’s risky to attempt to self-diagnose. While the internet can be a great resource for general information, a mental health professional can diagnose your symptoms, help you understand what’s going on, and discuss treatment options so you can make informed decisions about the care and support you receive. What makes mental health disorders so complicated to diagnose? There are a number of reasons: