Global Emergency of Mental Disorders - Chapter 4: Global epidemiology of mental disorders

Elsevier, Global Emergency of Mental Disorders 2021, Pages 57-67
Jahangir Moini, Justin Koenitzer, Anthony LoGalbo

Mental disorders are extremely common throughout the world. Mental health is usually underreported and underdiagnosed. In many developed countries that have better medical advancements, diagnoses occur more frequently. Therefore, the prevalence in different countries is varied. Many known sources such as the World Health Organization do not measure global prevalence, on a regular basis, across individual mental health disorders—beyond depression and substance use. Approximately one of every seven people globally have one or more mental or substance use disorders, totaling about one billion people. The largest number of people had an anxiety disorder—about 4% of the population. With the underreporting and poor coverage of mental health data in most countries, especially low-income nations, this may be considered to be a minimum estimate. In the United States, there has been a slow yet steady rise in depression among teenagers, and the prevalence of substance use has also steadily increased. With the world’s population aging, the prevalence of mental disorders is significantly increasing since these disorders are more prevalent in adults than in children. In general, mental disorders are basically even between males and females, but there are some, such as anxiety disorders, that occur much more often in females. Ethnic groups with higher percentages of mental disorders include American Indians/Alaska Natives and African Americans. The opioid epidemic, suicides, homicides, and homelessness all contribute significantly to the global emergency of mental disorders. Two out of every three drug overdose deaths involve opioids. People with mental disorders commit about 34% of homicides. People who commit suicide usually have previously had symptoms of mental illness. In the United States, 20%–25% of homeless individuals have a severe mental illness. Those with mental disorders have shorter lifespans than other people, by an average of 10 years.