Millions of Americans prioritize healthy living – and for good reason. Those who are healthier feel better and tend to live longer. Unfortunately, fewer men and women prioritize mental health, despite the significant toll it takes on physical wellbeing.
Mental illness disrupts the lives of countless people around the globe. Depression alone affects more than 300 million individuals. The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that depressive disorders are the leading cause of disability worldwide. While psychological and pharmacological treatments exist, many people find it challenging to access care.
Depression is one of the numerous mental health disorders that require treatment and continued management. The ever-persistent stigma of mental diseases, including alcohol and substance use disorder, prevents many from seeking help. Moreover, research indicates that more than half of men and women living with addiction also have a co-occurring mental illness.
The WHO is not alone in their assessment about the impact of mental illness on society. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) et al. agree that mental health disease is impacting global life expectancy. Encouraging more people to prioritize mental wellness and seek assistance is of vital importance. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA) reports that 41% of adults in America with mental health conditions received psychiatric care in the past year.
Poor Mental Health is Cause for Concern
Men and women who struggle with mental illness and lack healthy coping tools are at high risk of harmful behaviors. For many people, coping comes in the form of substance use as a means of self-medicating. This is a practice that can lead to addiction. What’s more, when mental illness doesn’t receive professional attention, the risk of self-harm rises significantly.
Anyone who is experiencing the symptoms of mental illness should reach out for support immediately. If you are struggling, please keep in mind that you are not alone and that recovery is possible.
A new study from U.S. News & World Report and the Aetna Foundation finds that poor mental health shortens life expectancy, CNBC reports. It may come as a surprise to learn that mental illness was found to be nearly as harmful as smoking and diabetes. Aetna Foundation President Garth Graham says he was surprised at the discovery.
“I at first wanted us to double check,” said Graham. He adds that “We often think about health as the four hours we spend in a doctor’s office a year, but health is about so much more than that.”
The Healthiest Communities rankings evaluate close to 3,000 communities on 81 health-related metrics, according to the article. The researchers were able to associate diabetes and smoking with the highest reduction in life expectancy. However, poor mental health came in at number three on the list, not far behind the other two.
Emphasizing the importance of nutrition and exercise is vitally important, to be sure. Still, it is critical that more people come to realize the mind and body are connected. Neglecting one will negatively affect the other.
Addiction plays a significant factor in influencing average life expectancy rates. Higher fatal overdose rates, along with a more considerable number of suicides, has led to a noticeable decline, according to the CDC. Promoting intervention, treatment, and recovery can have a dramatic impact on the current state of affairs.
Addiction and Co-occurring Behavioral Health Disorder Treatment
A new life can begin today by reaching out to Pacific Shores Recovery for assistance. We offer detoxification services, residential treatment, and sober living for people struggling with chemical dependency and co-occurring behavioral health disorders. Please contact our dedicated staff today to learn more about our evidence-based programs.