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“Mental pain is … more common and also more hard to bear. The frequent attempt to conceal mental pain increases the burden: it is easier to say ‘My tooth is aching’ than to say ‘My heart is broken.’”  C.S. Lewis

 

Being in the country in no way limits me from staying abreast of current events, and there have been a slew of them.  Sadly, the number of horrific acts  keep growing.  It’s almost as if parts of the world are becoming unhinged.

A definition of “unhinged” is mentally unbalanced or deranged. The latest mass shooting in Las Vegas has a lot of people talking about the mental health of the shooter.   The truth is mental health is a very real issue in this country.  One in five adults experience mental illness in the United States. … 18.1% of U.S. adults have experienced an anxiety disorder in the past year, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S., according to the CDC.

But is mental health declining in America?  Scientific American (1/1/17), thinks so.  The mental health of the nation may have even declined in the past 20 years … and is one of the “inconvenient truths” of mental illness. Suicide rates per 100,000 people have increased to a 30-year high. Substance abuse, particularly of opiates, has become epidemic. Disability awards for mental disorders have dramatically increased since 1980, and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is struggling to keep up with the surge in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).  Over the past two decades mental illness has become the second most common cause of disability in the U.S., as measured by Social Security disability claims.

More people are getting treatment and taking medications today than ever before, so what is going on?  New strategies in research and prevention are needed to move forward and improve mental health, but equally important is observance from family and friends.

Quite often the person suffering doesn’t realize they have a problem.  What starts out slowly can quickly mushroom to an illness that can cause harm to a person or persons.  That’s why care by family and friends is so important.  Help is available.  If you observe changes in someone’s behavior, help them find the help they need by becoming a mental health advocate.

 

 

Tagged: depression, mass shooting, mental health, mental health advocate, mental illness, suicide

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