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1 in 5 US adults suffer mental illness - report

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A report finds 1 in 5 American adults suffer mental illness

Researchers of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reported on Nov 18 that in 2009, 45 million, or 20 percent, of adults aged 18 or older in the U.S. suffered from some mental disorder or mental illness in the past year.  Among those with mental illness, 11 million or 4.8 percent had a serious mental illness.

The report determined that women were more likely than men to suffer mental illness, 23.8 percent versus 15.6 percent – those suffering from serious mental illness is estimated at 6.4 versus 3.2 percent of women and men, respectively.

Also in 2009, an estimated 8.4 million adults or 3.7 percent aged 18 or older had serious thoughts of suicide the previous year. Of those who had thought about committing suicide, 2.2 million or 1 percent had a plan and 1 million or 0.5 percent had attempted suicide in the past year.

Among the 45 million suffering from some form of mental illness, nearly 20 percent or 8.9 million adults  had substance dependence or substance abuse issues.  25.7 percent had substance dependence or substance abuse in the prior year, compared with 6.5 percent of adults who did not have mental illness.

Of the same 45 million adults, 17.1 million or 37.9 received mental health care services during the prior 12 months - of the 11 million adults with serious mental illness, 6.6 million or 60.2 percent received care. In 2009, 13.3 percent or 30.2 million adults received mental health services during the past 12 months.

Of the 2.8 million adults aged 18 or older with both substance dependence or abuse in the past year, 2.4 percent received treatment at a specialty facility.

In 2009, 2.0 million youths aged 12 to 17 suffered a major depressive episode during the past year. Among those who experienced major depression, 35.7 percent used illicit drugs, compared to 18.0 percent of those who did not have major depression in the past year.

Mental illness or mental disorder can be anything that is mentally abnormal. It can include anxiety disorders, mood disorder, psychotic disorders, eating disorders, impulse control and addiction disorders, personality disorders, adjustment disorder, dissociative disorders, factitious disorders, sexual and gender disorders, somatoform disorders and Tic disorders.

Mental illness may have something to do with vitamin d deficiency

One study led by Ganji V. and colleagues and reported in the Nov 2010 issue of International Archives of Medicine showed people with current depression were more  likely to be vitamin D deficient than those who had higher levels of vitamin D.

The study was based on data from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

Dr. John Cannell, an vitamin D expert and director of Vitamin D Council wrote on his website that evidence suggests that vitamin D plays a role in mental illness.

He said mental illness was linked with reduced sun exposure, low 25-hydroxyvitamin D or 25(OH)D levels, and symptoms found in individuals with vitamin D deficiency and studies showed vitamin D improves mental illness.

Jimmy Downs and editing by Rachel Stockton

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