Americans who suffer of various forms of mental illness keep piling up in record numbers. However, most of them are continuing their lives without professional help. In this respect, a U.S. study remarks that more than 8 million people with this type of conditions are less willing to take advantage of healthcare services than other suffering patients.
3.4% of American Adults Are Living with Various Types of Mental Illness
NYU School of Medicine published one of its recent research papers in journal Psychiatric Services. The study is about the somber relationship between Americans with some form of mental illness and healthcare industry. Researchers leveraged a database uploaded with federal health information for their work. The asset is called the National Health Interview Survey and pertains to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The main conclusion was that 3.4% of the adult American population is currently living with serious psychological distress or SPD for short. This percentage accounts for 8.3 million of U.S. citizens. According to CDC, this mental condition is a spectrum of negative feelings such as restlessness, worthlessness, and sadness. These sentiments are powerful enough to render physical damages. Previous years recorded only 3% or fewer Americans that live with SPD.
“Based on our data, we estimate that millions of Americans have a level of emotional functioning that leads to lower quality of life and life expectancy.”
More than 10.5% of Surveyed Participants Didn’t Finish Their Treatment
However, a more concerning issue arises from the connection between Americans who suffer on a daily basis because of their mental illness and healthcare services. One of the findings of the paper suggests that in 2014 there were 9.5% of surveyed citizens who didn’t benefit health insurance. The rate is 0.5% higher than the situation recorded in the year of 2006.
Moreover, there are around 10.5% of participants who had to opt for delays in their treatment. In all these cases, the reason was a lack of mental health coverage. This figure signaled a 1% increase from 2006. Finally, there were 10% of people in 2014 who couldn’t pay for their psychiatric treatment which is worse than the 2006 rate of 8.7%.
However, the study didn’t find why there is a drop of used mental health services. Professionals believe that some cases of depression prevent people from leaving their house and respecting each and one of their doctor appointments. However, this situation may also be the result of lack of sufficient professional help or expensive costs that the insurance doesn’t cover.
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