Health Encyclopedia

Mental Health Disorder Statistics

Statistics related to mental health disorders

The following are the latest statistics available from the National Institute of Mental Health Disorders, part of the National Institutes of Health:

  • Mental health disorders account for several of the top causes of disability in established market economies, such as the U.S., worldwide, and include: major depression (also called clinical depression), manic depression (also called bipolar disorder), schizophrenia, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

  • An estimated 26% of Americans ages 18 and older -- about 1 in 4 adults -- suffers from a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year.

  • Many people suffer from more than one mental disorder at a given time. In particular, depressive illnesses tend to co-occur with substance abuse and anxiety disorders.

  • Approximately 9.5% of American adults ages 18 and over, will suffer from a depressive illness (major depression, bipolar disorder, or dysthymia) each year.

    • Women are nearly twice as likely to suffer from major depression than men. However, men and women are equally likely to develop bipolar disorder.

    • While major depression can develop at any age, the average age at onset is the mid-20s.

    • With bipolar disorder, which affects approximately 2.6% of Americans age 18 and older in a given year -- the average age at onset for a first manic episode is during the early 20s.

  • Most people who commit suicide have a diagnosable mental disorder -- most commonly a depressive disorder or a substance abuse disorder.

    • Four times as many men than women commit suicide. However, women attempt suicide more often than men.

    • The highest suicide rates in the U.S. are found in Caucasian men over age 85. However, suicide is also one of the leading causes of death in adolescents and adults ages 15 to 24.

  • Approximately 1% of Americans are affected by schizophrenia.

    • In most cases, schizophrenia first appears in men during their late teens or early 20s. In women, schizophrenia often first appears during their 20s or early 30s.

  • Approximately about 18% of people ages 18- 54 in a given year, have an anxiety disorder in a given year. Anxiety disorders include: panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), and phobias (social phobia, agoraphobia, and specific phobia).

    • Panic disorder typically develops in late adolescence or early adulthood.

    • The first symptoms of OCD often begin during childhood or adolescence.

    • GAD can begin at any time, though the risk is highest between childhood and middle age.

    • Individuals with OCD frequently can have problems with substance abuse or depressive or eating disorders.

    • Social phobia typically begins in childhood or adolescence.



Medical Reviewers:

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