Just Like the Common Flu
Everyone is susceptible to getting the flu or tripping and breaking a bone. Viruses spread and accidents happen. Similarly, everyone is susceptible to mental health disorders. In fact, scientists now believe that people who go their whole life, or even half of their life, without experiencing some type of mental ailment – whether temporary or chronic – are actually the weird ones.
What Research Says
Published in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology, a study, involving 988 individuals, followed the mental health of the participants for their whole life. By the time participants were 38, researchers conducted 13 total assessments.
In the end, the study revealed that about 41% of the participants had experienced a mental health issue temporarily at least once by the time they were 38. About another 41% admitted to battling mental illnesses for several years. Some had even been diagnosed with conditions like bipolar disease. Only 17% of the participants (171 individuals), however, claimed to have never dealt with any mental disorder. These results match several other mental health studies. Ultimately, it further supports the hypothesis that most people struggle with mental health problems at least once in their life.
The Secret to Mental Health
The 17% of those with enduring mental health showed similarities in terms of their personalities growing up. As kids, they were positive. They also integrated well with large social grows and demonstrated great maturity for their age. In addition, the study made a connection between long-lasting mental stability and a lack of mental illness in the families’ medical history.
How This Study Helps
By showing that most individuals experience a mental health issue, at least briefly, the study helps increase awareness of mental disorders. And in doing so, it will hopefully eliminate the stigmas associated with them. Even psychiatric epidemiologist, Ronald Kessler, who conducts U.S. surveys for mental disorders, claims that there may be even higher numbers of people with a mental disorder than what is reported. For instance, Kessler suggests that some participants, who supposedly never experienced a mental health problem, could have had experiences that were overlooked.
In Kessler’s opinion, “the more interesting thing is to compare people with persistent mental illness to those with temporary disorders.”
Ultimately, the take away is that mental disorders are common. Never feel embarrassed for having to visit a psychiatrist or another doctor regarding mental health. You’re not alone. And if you’re too embarrassed to talk to a doctor about your own mental health, don’t be! You’re just like everybody else. Therefore, make sure you visit a doctor if you suspect you may have an undiagnosed mental illness, and to prepare for any and all medical expenses, make sure you have health insurance! Contact an Empower agent today who can help you find the right health plan for you.
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