Many people don't realize that mental illnesses can happen to anyone, and it is as real as any other disease or disability. Here are a some facts about behavioral health for a better understanding of the disease.

  • In any given 1-year period, 9.5 percent of the population, or about 18.8 million American adults, suffer from a depressive illness.

  • In some families, major depression seems to occur generation after generation. However, it can also occur in people who have no family history of depression.

  • Women experience depression about twice as often as men. Many hormonal factors may contribute to the increased rate of depression in women-particularly such factors as menstrual cycle, pregnancy, postpartum period, perimenopause and menopause.

  • Although men are less likely to suffer from depression than women, three to four million men in the United States are affected by the illness. Men are less likely to admit to depression, and doctors are less likely to suspect it. The rate of suicide in men is four times that of women, though more women attempt it. In fact, after the age of 70, the rate of men’s suicide rises, reaching a peak after the age of 85.

  • Anxiety disorders fill people’s lives with overwhelming anxiety and fear. Anxiety disorders are serious medical illnesses that affect approximately 19 million American adults.

  • Behavioral disorders are common in the United States and internationally. An estimated 22.1 percent of Americans ages 18 and older - about 1 in 5 adults - suffer from a diagnosable behavioral disorder in a given year. In addition, 4 of the 20 leading causes of disability in the U.S. and other developed countries are behavioral disorders.
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