Get The Facts On Mental Illness

According to Psychology Today, one out of every three Americans will struggle with a mental illness. Women are about 40% more likely to develop depression than their male counterparts, they are twice as likely to struggle with anxiety and/or PTSD, and women are more prone to develop eating disorders. While the reasoning behind this gender disparity remains unclear, what is clear is that mental healthcare is an important issue — and one we should be talking about. And so, as part of my ongoing efforts to stop the stigma surrounding mental illness, I have compiled a short list of facts below.


  • Major depressive disorder affects approximately 14.8 million American adults, or 6.7 percent of the U.S. population, every year
  • Depression can develop at any age; however, the median age at onset is 32
  • Women are 40% more likely to develop a depressive disorder than men
  • Depression can take numerous forms, including — but not limited to — major depression, postpartum depression, psychotic depression, and seasonal affective disorder
  • Regardless of the type of depression, depression is treatable. (In fact, up to 80% of those treated for depression show an improvement in their symptoms within four to six weeks of beginning medication, psychotherapy, attending support groups and/or a combination of these treatments). However, despite its high treatment success rate, nearly two-thirds of those suffering with depression do not seek or receive proper treatment

Anxiety Disorders2

  • Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the United States., affecting 40 million adults age 18 and older (or 18% of the population) and one in eight children
  • Women are twice as likely to have an anxiety disorder than their male counterpart
  • Anxiety disorders can take numerous forms, including — but not limited to — generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, postpartum anxiety disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, and phobias
  • While anxiety disorders are highly treatable, only about one-third of those suffering seek/receive treatment

Postpartum Depression, Postpartum Anxiety, & Other Perinatal Mood Disorders3

  • One our of every seven women will get a perinatal mood or anxiety disorder, like postpartum depression
    • Or, to put it another way, more women will suffer from postpartum depression and/or a postpartum-related mental health condition this year than the number of new cases of tuberculosis, leukemia, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, lupus, and epilepsy combined
  • While postpartum depression is the most common postpartum mental health condition, women can be affected by any number of perinatal mood disorders including — but not limited to — postpartum anxiety, OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder), PTSD, and/or postpartum psychosis
  • These conditions can develop during pregnancy or after birth, up to 12 months after birth
  • While perinatal mood disorders are treatable, only 15% of women with postpartum depression ever seek and receive professional treatment

Eating Disorders4

  •  In the United States, 30 million people (20 million women and 10 million men) suffer from an eating disorder. However, many believe this number to be much higher as many ED sufferers are never officially diagnosed and/or their symptoms and behaviors do not fit into the criteria set forth by the DSM-5
  • Eating disorders can take many forms, including — but not limited to — anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder, and/or EDNOS
  • It is common for eating disorders to occur with one or more other psychiatric disorders, such as depression, addiction, and OCD
  • While treatment for eating disorders can be difficult, with treatment, 60% of eating disorder sufferers make a full recovery


%d bloggers like this: