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How prevalent is mental illness in the United States?


Many people in Houston would say that without good health, nothing else in life really matters. In many cases, it is relatively easy for a person to determine whether they are physically healthy. When it comes to mental health, however, the picture becomes much murkier.

While people can appreciate the difficulties of living with a physical ailment, some people are likely less aware of how a mental illness can affect a person's life. A variety of mental conditions can become worse over time if left untreated. Thus, if a person is unaware that they have a mental problem, their life could quickly spiral downward to the point where they are unable to care for themselves. But just how prevalent is mental illness?

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), which is an organization that works to better the lives of people with mental illness, about 18.5 percent of the adult population in the United States suffers some kind of mental illness each year. That percentage equates to about 44 million adults throughout the country.

Mental illness typically does not affect only the person suffering from it and their family members. Rather, data reported by NAMI shows that mental illness costs the country almost $200 billion in lost earnings potential each year. Thus, helping people with mental illness not only helps that individual, but it can also help the country as a whole.

Of course, getting appropriate medical treatment for mental disorders requires resources. But people who are suffering from mental illness may not be able to afford the necessary treatment. Fortunately, Social Security Disability benefits for mental conditions may be available. People in the Houston area who think that they or their family member might be eligible for a mental disability claim may want to contact an attorney who practices in the area of Social Security Disability benefits.

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