Why More Americans Suffer From Mental Disorders Than Anyone Else

That mental health disorders are pervasive in the United States is no secret. Americans suffer from all sorts of psychological issues, and the evidence indicates that they're not going anywhere despite (or because of?) an increasing number of treatment options. There are the mood disorders like depression, bipolar disorder, and the less severe dysthymia (low grade depression); anxiety disorders like generalized anxiety disorder, social phobia, agoraphobia, and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD); substance abuse; and impulse control disorder (like attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder). Research shows that while we're seeking treatment more, rates have not dropped much, if at all, in recent years. For depression alone, about one in 10 people in America has suffered from it in the last year. Twice that number will be affected over the course of a lifetime.

But how does the U.S. compare to other nations? The World Health Organization (WHO) has spent a good amount of time and resources determining how rates of mental health disorders fluctuate across the globe. It is no small task. The methods of data collection must maintain consistency across widely disparate cultures and languages, not to mention groups' varying willingness to talk about mental health problems in the first place. The WHO has come up with vast catalogues of mental health data, which they are constantly updating. See how the U.S. compares to other countries:

Presented by

Alice G. Walton, PhD, is a health journalist and an editor at The Doctor Will See You Now.

Never Tell People How Old They Look

Age discrimination affects us all. Who cares about youth? James Hamblin turns to his colleague Jeffrey Goldberg for advice.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Never Tell People How Old They Look

Age discrimination affects us all. James Hamblin turns to a colleague for advice.

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

Video

Pittsburgh: 'Better Than You Thought'

How Steel City became a bikeable, walkable paradise

Video

A Four-Dimensional Tour of Boston

In this groundbreaking video, time moves at multiple speeds within a single frame.

Video

Who Made Pop Music So Repetitive? You Did.

If pop music is too homogenous, that's because listeners want it that way.

More in Health

Just In