Crazy questions

Recently I have become aware of the many people around me suffering from serious mental illnesses. Within the past year I have associated closely with at least five people in normal society that have developed or shown signs of mental illness. I have to admit, that kind of scares me. I’ve always been taught to be an open minded person, but the differences that are evident in some people with mental illnesses are so strange and foreign to me that it’s hard to not be scared. My major concerns are these: What am I doing or what can I do when life presents me with these scary situations? What is a serious disorder or behavior that should be addressed immediately and what should I accept as part of life? Is it my duty as a friend to confront a mental illness issue whether small or big? When does it become necessary to intervene to protect the well being and safety of another person? Can anyone truly help another person with a mental illness? Doesn’t the outcome of any situation depend on the people involved? Do I need to study psychology to be comfortable with these problems?

I decided that in order to answer some of these questions I needed to find facts, here’s what I found:

It is vital for Americans know that help is available for mental and emotional problems, because anyone, no matter what age, economic status or race, can develop a mental illness. During any one-year period, up to 50 million Americans — more than 22 percent — suffer from a clearly diagnosable mental disorder involving a degree of incapacity that interferes with employment, attendance at school or daily life. Just look at the facts:

 

  • 20 percent of the ailments for which Americans seek a doctor’s care are related to anxiety disorders, such as panic attacks, that interfere with their ability to live normal lives.
  • Some 8 million to 14 million Americans suffer from depression each year. As many as one in five Americans will suffer at least one episode of major depression during their lifetimes.
  • About 12 million children under 18 suffer from mental disorders such as autism, depression and hyperactivity
  • Two million Americans suffer from schizophrenic disorders and 300,000 new cases occur each year
  • 15.4 million American adults and 4.6 million adolescents experience serious alcohol-related problems, and another 12.5 million suffer form drug abuse or dependence.
  • Nearly one-fourth of the elderly who are labeled as senile actually suffer some form of mental illness that can be effectively treated
  • Suicide is the third leading cause of death for people between the ages of 15 and 24.
  • People suffering from mental illness often do not recognize them for what they are. About 27 percent of those who seek medical care for physical problems actually suffer from troubled emotions.
  • Emotional and mental disorders can be treated or controlled, but only one in five people who have these disorders seek help, and only four to 15 percent of the children suffering severe mental illnesses receive appropriate treatment.
  • Quoted from: www.friendshospitalonline.org/facts.htm

    Maybe awareness is the key.

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    2 thoughts on “Crazy questions

    1. You know my key (yes I am an admitting a problem) was a true, loyel and nonjudgemental friend that would just let me cry without comment. Even on the roughest days. To that I say thank you Becca. You are my sanity!

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