How common is mental illness?

The short answer: a lot more common than you probably thought.

The long answer:

  • Nearly 1 in 5 Americans live with a mental health condition in any given year.
  • Almost half of Americans will have a mental health condition at some point in their lives. Half of those will experience a mental illness by age 14.
  • Mental illness is more common among women, people of color, and members of the LGBTQ+ community.
  • Most people who experience mental illnesses do not receive treatment.
  • Many people don’t even know they have a mental illness. It can take years from the time mental illness appears to the time it gets diagnosed—if it gets diagnosed at all.

It’s tragic that so many people live with undiagnosed mental illness, because mental illness is treatable. In addition to medical treatments like medication and therapy, there are many lifestyle changes you can make to improve your mental health.

If you think you might be experiencing a mental illness, take one of our mental health screens. Then keep exploring the links on this site to learn more about mental illness, how it works, and what you can do to recover.

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