Pervasive

1 in 4…

25% of adults in the U.S. struggle with mental illness!

That is MORE than

  • the percentage of residents who get the flu each year (roughly 5 – 20%)º
  • the percentage of adults (those over 18), who have hay fever (approximately 7.8%)¹
  • than the number of adults with asthma (1 in 12 or 8.3%)²
  • the percentage of people with (diagnosed and undiagnosed) diabetes (9.3%)³

There is an urgent need to prioritize mental health – TEDxTokyo – Kathy Pike – Don’t Call Me Crazy [English]

Could you be ALMOST depressed?

“Almost depressed” is not a mental disorder.  People who are almost depressed report a number of issues, including lower job satisfaction, lower satisfaction with their marriage and personal relationships, more anxiety, less control over their lives, and lower overall well-being than people who do not fall into the almost depressed range.  In fact, on some measures, people who are almost depressed report feeling worse off than people who actually fall into the clinically depressed range. Even if an individual does not warrant a diagnosis of major depression, the symptoms are associated with a substantial amount of distress and suffering.

Research indicates about 75% of cases of low-grade depression will devolve into full-blown major depression, IF they are not recognized and arrested.  People who are depressed have four times the risk of heart disease and almost six times the risk of dying after a cardiac event than people who are not depressed.

The prevalence of mental disorders is expected to increase.

According to Harold Koplewics, M.D., President of the Child Mind Institute, 1 in 5 children is being diagnosed with a learning disability or mental disorder.  He suggests,

The greatest barriers to helping children with dyslexia and co-occurring mental health disorders are stigma — the myth, for example, that dyslexics aren’t as smart as their nondyslexic peers — and the refusal of schools and testing agencies to accept diagnoses and offer accommodations. We often talk about how no child should be left behind, but when we judge children who are suffering from learning and psychiatric disorder, or deny that their conditions are real, we’re doing WORSE than “leaving children behind:” we’re instilling in them the feeling that they’re somehow unworthy or not trying hard enough. We can all agree that this is unacceptable and that we can do better.

Imagine those adults, who experienced the above…and upon entering “the real” world, are judged even more harshly.  WE MUST DO BETTER!

The National Center for Learning Disabilities indicates, “stigma and a lack of information hold many back.”  The stigma of having a disability is a widespread problem; preventing many young adults from taking advantage of the protections to which they are entitled.  The State of Learning Disabilities 2014 report presented the following statistics with regard to young adults with learning disabilities;

  • Only 17 percent receive accommodations in college, compared to 94 percent in high school.
  • Only 19 percent said their employers knew of their disability.
  • Only 5 percent received accommodations in the workplace.

Lack of information about rights and services holds back many. Studies have revealed that students with learning and attention issues are less likely to receive guidance from teachers and counselors about how to prepare for college.  And, unfortunately, two-thirds of adults with LD had either NEVER HEARD of the ADA or were not confident (or perhaps comfortable) enough to use it to get accommodations.

In addition, many adults have gone underdiagnosed with mental disorders.  While many want to believe people are being over diagnosed with mental disorders (which may at times be accurate), it is more likely to be the opposite; especially within the adult population.  In fact it is quite prevalent with people with ADHD, Dyslexia, high functioning Autism, and other “invisible” disorders.  Rock Center’s report, All in the ADHD family: Diagnosis in kids can spotlight parents’ own condition, describes the long term effects, and the debilitation that can occur when ADHD goes untreated.

º U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
¹ American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology
² National Center for Environmental Health
³ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention  

Be Counted!  Illuminate Mental Diversity at Work.
There is safety (AND strength) in numbers. “All for one, and one for all.”

Suggestions, feedback, comments, and questions welcomed at MindingDiversity@aol.com

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© October 2015

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