How Has the Incidence of Mental Disorders in the US Changed over Time?

About 20-25 percent of the people in the United States have at least one diagnosable mental disorder — that's about 61-76 million people. About 4 million of those are on federal disability because of their mental disorder. The incidence of people who are disabled by mental disorders went up drastically between 1987 and 2007, increasing by 2.5 times in adults and by 35 times in children, making mental illness the leading cause of disability among children in the U.S.

More facts about mental disorders:

  • The average age of onset for mental disorders in the U.S. is 14 years old, and women and men are about equally likely to develop a mental disorder.

  • Only 30-40 percent of people who have mental disorders receive treatment.

  • About half of the people who have a mental disorder have two or more disorders, and about 6 percent of adults are so affected by their mental disorder that they cannot perform routine actions for three months out of the year.

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what causes the mental disorders?

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