Mental Health Conditions are More Common Than You Think

Two friends talking to each other

Approximately 50% of people in the United States currently experience mental health conditions, like depression or anxiety. And, last year COVID-19 had a significant impact on the mental health of American adults, including:

  • More than 93,000 drug overdose deaths — the highest number of overdose deaths ever recorded in a 12-month period
  • An increase in suicidal thoughts from 4.3% in 2018 to 11% in 2020
  • 13% reported starting or increasing substance use as a way of coping with stress or emotions related to COVID-19

Know the Signs

The most common symptoms of mental health conditions are:

  • Excessive worrying or fear
  • Feeling excessively sad or low
  • Confused thinking or problems concentrating
  • Extreme mood changes
  • Prolonged or strong feelings of irritability or anger
  • Avoiding friends or social activities

Get Help

While it may be hard to take the first steps, if you experience signs of a mental health condition, get help. Our team of behavioral health professionals can help you find the support you need.

If you’re thinking about hurting yourself, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

Treat Your Brain Like Your Heart

What if we treated our mental health the way we treat our physical health? Dr. Nzinga Harrison, Chief Medical Officer of Eleanor Health, speaks to this important question.

Video Transcript

What if we treated our mental health the way we treat our physical health?

If you're sick, you go to the hospital. If your kid is sick, you take them to a pediatrician. Why is it different when it comes to our mental health? What if, like your blood pressure, you were able to talk freely and openly when you were concerned?

Your blood pressure is a little high, the doctor recommends diet, exercise, stress reduction. You try all of those things and your blood pressure stays elevated, we think about a medication.

How about the same for, “I feel depressed. I feel anxious.” Let's try stress reduction, exercise, lifestyle modifications. But if those don't work, let's think about medication. Treat your brain the way you would treat your heart.


Sources:

National Alliance on Mental Illness, nami.org/mhstats; National Institute of Mental Health, nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/mental-illness, cdc.gov, The Washington Post, NJ Cares Data

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