Mental health counts: A look at the numbers

Chances are, if you haven't dealt with a mental health disorder, a loved one has. With such high prevalence rates, the stigma seems to be lessening. Still, many suffer in silence, and some experts worry that others are overmedicated. For a look into our minds and medicine cabinets, check out these numbers:

58 million — The number of U.S. adults — about one in four — who suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year.

23 — Percentage of prescriptions for mental health drugs written by psychiatrists. Most are prescribed by family doctors, nurse practitioners and other medical providers who don't specialize in mental health.

212.2 million — Antidepressant prescriptions filled last year by retail pharmacies, mail order, hospitals and other drug dispensers.

$2.76 billion — Sales last year of mental health drug Lexapro, the most popular antidepressant prescribed to patients.

1 — Hawaii's rank among all states for emotional health and wellbeing. West Virginia ranked last.

5 — Major types of anxiety disorders: generalized anxiety, panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, social phobia and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

19.5 — Median age of onset for obsessive-compulsive disorder, though initial symptoms often appear in childhood or adolescence.

Sources: National Institute of Mental Health; Thomson Reuters, U.S. Substance and Mental Health Services Administration; IMS Health; Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index


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Robert Whittaker's 2010 book "Anatomy of an Epidemic" is a must-read for anyone interested in these statistics.

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