Today is world mental health day. Here are some statistics
According to Nami (National Alliance of Mental Illness):
1 in 5 adults experience mental illness
Approximately 1 in 25 adults experience severe mental illness.
Approximately 1 in 5 youth aged 13 -18 experience mental illness
Approximately 13% of children aged 8-15 experience mental illness
Want more stats…. read this:
Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the US for all ages. (CDC)
Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death for 15 to 24 year old Americans. (CDC)
Suicide is the 4th leading cause of death for adults ages 18-65. (CDC)
Utah Youth Suicide now leading cause of death for Utah kids ages 11 to 17
Every day, approximately 123 Americans die by suicide. (CDC)
There is one death by suicide in the US every 12 minutes. (CDC)
Depression affects 20-25% of Americans ages 18+ in a given year. (CDC)
Only half of all Americans experiencing an episode of major depression receive treatment. (NAMI)
80% -90% of people that seek treatment for depression are treated successfully using therapy and/or medication. (TAPS study)
An estimated quarter million people each year become suicide survivors (AAS).
There is one suicide for every estimated 25 suicide attempts. (CDC)
Let’s start a conversation. Mental health should be words we use every day. I used to be scared of those words. My dad was very sick. He couldn’t be in my life because it was too hard for me to understand. I remember when I was small my mom used to take me to see him at the VA hospital. I remember it feeling dark and very cold. As I grew up, I started to have anxiety attacks. I remember them starting at 8 years old. This was the same year my aunt tried to commit suicide. I never used to talk about my attacks. I thought I was crazy. I thought I was different.
As I got older I started to self-medicate with drugs. It allowed me to escape my body and the confusing feelings and thoughts I had. As you can guess this just added fuel to the fire. I got on anti-depression and anxiety medication. The first time I went to see a therapist was after my grandfather died. I was 19. I hated talking to someone.
I must be insane. Isn’t the cure for depression and anxiety, medication and therapy? I spent my 20’s drinking, doing drugs and having such bad anxiety attacks that they would cripple me. I would black out during the attacks not even realizing what was going on. Prescribed more pills. So now I am on strong anxiety pills, Xanax for attacks, alcohol and all the other extracurricular drugs I was partaking in. I was a mess.
I had this conversation the other day with a friend: why did none of my doctors tell me to cut out alcohol??!! I may have lied about the drug use but I always was honest about the alcohol. I had no clue it affected me so badly until it was cut out of my life completely. I should note that I didn’t even notice the difference mentally until about 3 months after I did it. It's a DEPRESSANT! Why are we not speaking up more about the toll it takes on our bodies!
Fast forward to today. I am the healthiest I have ever been. I put in A LOT of work. It was hard and painful. I found acupuncture. I found meditation. I have to work out. I can’t eat gluten and sugar, they are triggers for me. I can’t drink. I should have NEVER have been doing drugs.
I bet if you asked the people around you, they all know someone (or maybe even themselves) that have been affected by mental illness. Let’s start the conversation about mental health. Let’s teach our children that their feelings are valid and figure out what solutions will help them feel better. There is no cookie cutter answer. Some people its diet. Some its exercise. Some people love therapy, others like me don’t like it. There are so many alternatives out there to assist you in finding your path!
Talk about it. Confide in someone around you. Reach out to a family member or friend. If one thing doesn’t work for you, try something else. I used to always think I was alone. It is obvious by the numbers, I am not. Mental illness can be hard on the individual and the family. Let’s create change and be a support system for those who need it. Let’s help each other find the modality that works for them in overcoming this disease. Our children are growing up in a world of instant gratification and de-sensitized topics. Torturing each other at an even younger age than before because the world is at their fingertips.
Mental Health should be positive words (insert the word sobriety here too.) Choosing healthy should always be positive. Let’s create a space where people can find the help they need. Let’s simply start the conversation.
- Amanda (@missdjlux) ❤️