The Mental Illness in All of Us, Part 2

There’s a fine line between “normal” and “mentally ill.”

An important thing to consider about “Mental Illness” is that there is a fine line between the mentally ill and the being “normal”. We have all had rough times in our lives; there have been times when we were depressed, manic, irritable, or tangential. Remember those hard times in your life, and think how easy it would have been to be diagnosed with a disorder during those times. In fact, I would argue that most of us have met the criteria for at least one diagnosis at some point in our lives. This begs the question “Where does the line exist between normal human emotional functioning and what we label mental illness?” I, for one, would like see the definition of a “normal” person prior to making that determination. Regardless, when I see most struggling young men and women alike,  I don’t immediately see mental illness; I see people who are not yet fully equipped to survive emotionally in today’s complex social environment. Instead of giving

The following startling and revealing facts can be found on the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) website

“The National Institute of Mental Health reports that One in four adults-approximately 57.7 million Americans-experience a mental health disorder in a given year”

“The U.S. Surgeon General reports that 10 percent of children and adolescents in the United States suffer from serious emotional and mental disorders that cause significant functional impairment in their day-to-day lives at home, in school and with peers.”

“The World Health Organization has reported that four of the 10 leading causes of disability in the US and other developed countries are mental disorders. By 2020, Major Depressive illness will be the leading cause of disability in the world for women and children.”

“Mental illness usually strike individuals in the prime of their lives, often during adolescence and young adulthood. All ages are susceptible, but the young and the old are especially vulnerable.”

“Without treatment the consequences of mental illness for the individual and society are staggering: unnecessary disability, unemployment, substance abuse, homelessness, inappropriate incarceration, suicide and wasted lives; The economic cost of untreated mental illness is more than 100 billion dollars each year in the United States.”

“The best treatments for serious mental illnesses today are highly effective; between 70 and 90 percent of individuals have significant reduction of symptoms and improved quality of life with a combination of pharmacological and psychosocial treatments and supports.”

“With appropriate effective medication and a wide range of services tailored to their needs, most people who live with serious mental illnesses can significantly reduce the impact of their illness and find a satisfying measure of achievement and independence. A key concept is to develop expertise in developing strategies to manage the illness process.”

“Early identification and treatment is of vital importance; By ensuring access to the treatment and recovery supports that are proven effective, recovery is accelerated and the further harm related to the course of illness is minimized.”