The Economy and How it Affects your Mental Health

According to CNBC.com, nearly 1 in 5 Americans had mental illness in 2009.  US government researchers reported more than 45 million Americans or 20 percent of US adults, had some form of mental illness last year, and 11 million had a serious illness.

Young adults aged 18 to 25 had the highest level of mental illness at 30 percent, while those aged 50 and older had the lowest, with 13.7 percent, said the report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services administration or SAMHSA.

I was not surprised to see these staggering statistics with record unemployment rates at a 25-year high as of last year.  As a mental health counselor I am seeing an increase in people struggling with depression and anxiety as they fear losing their homes and can’t pay their bills.   The good news is those people who are getting help are getting better.  The bad news is, too many Americans are not seeking help and as a result many are becoming disabled, struggling with substance abuse, not being productive members of society, having relational problems, having thoughts of suicide and cannot function normally.

Mental illness such as depression and anxiety are very treatable illnesses and can be managed with mental health counseling and if serious, medication.  Mental health counseling helps people with mental illness cope and develop tools to avoid these illnesses in the future.  Unfortunately, many people avoid counseling because insurance won’t pay the bill, it might be inconvenient, or they’re afraid of the social stigma.

If you believe you are struggling with some form of mental illness whether it is depression, anxiety or something else, seek a mental health counselor.  They can give you the help you need to get better!

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