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National statistics on mental health

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An estimated 26.2 percent of Americans ages 18 and older – about one in four adults – suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year. This figure translates to 57.7 million people.

Anxiety Disorders
Anxiety Disorders are the most common mental illness*in the U.S. affecting 40 million (18.1%) of the adult U.S. population (age 18 and older) in a given year.

Anxiety disorders frequently co-occur with depressive disorders or substance abuse. Most people with one anxiety disorder also have another anxiety disorder.

Types of disorders -Numbers and percentages refer to adult U.S. population affected:

  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder: 6.8 million, 3.1%.
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder: 2.2 million, 1.0%.
  • Panic Disorder: 6 million, 2.7%.
  • Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: 7.7 million, 3.5%.
  • Social Anxiety Disorder: 15 million, 6.8%.
  • Specific Phobia affects: 19 million, 8.7%.
  • Any Phobia (Social Anxiety Disorder, Specific Phobia, Agoraphobia) affects 36 million (16.3%) of adult Americans.

Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar disorder affects approximately 5.7 million American adults, or about 2.6 percent of the U.S. Population age 18 and older in a given year.

Bipolar disorder is commonly misdiagnosed. The average patient receives 3.5 misdiagnoses and consults four physicians before obtaining an accurate diagnosis.

Bipolar disorder and suicide

  • Approximately 1 in 5 people with bipolar disorder eventually commit suicide, a rate 30 times higher than the general population.
  • 20-50% of people with bipolar disorder attempt suicide **at least once.


  • More Americans suffer from depression than coronary heart disease (7 million), cancer (6 million) and AIDS (200,000) combined.
  • Approximately 20.9 million, or about 9.5 percent of American adults have a depressive disorder in any given year.
  • Major depressive disorder affects approximately 14.8 million American adults, or about 6.7 percent of the U.S. population age 18 and older in a given year.
  • Major Depressive Disorder is the leading cause of disability in the U.S. for ages 15-44.


  • Every 18 minutes in the United States, someone dies by suicide.
  • In 2002, there were 31,655 suicides in the United States.
  • More than 90 percent of people who kill themselves have a diagnosable mental disorder, commonly a depressive disorder or a substance-abuse disorder.
  • In 2002, 132,353 individuals were hospitalized following suicide attempts.
  • Suicide is the eighth leading cause of death for all U.S. men.
  • Males are four times more likely to die from suicide than females.
  • Suicide is the third leading cause of death among young people ages 15 to 24 (second leading in some western states.)
  • In 2001, 5,393 Americans over age 65 committed suicide. Of those, 85% (4,589) were men and 15% (804) were women.
  • The highest suicide rates in the U.S. are found in white men over age 85.
  • Suicide rates in the United States are lowest in the winter and highest in the spring, despite popular reports to the contrary.

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