Mental Disorders in America (cont.)


  • In 1997, 30,535 people died from suicide in the U.S.
  • More than 90 percent of people who kill themselves have a diagnosable mental disorder, commonly a depressive disorder or a substance abuse disorder.
  • The highest suicide rates in the U.S. are found in white men over age 85.
  • The suicide rate in young people increased dramatically over the last few decades. In 1997, suicide was the 3rd leading cause of death among 15 to 24 year olds.
  • Four times as many men than women commit suicide; however, women attempt suicide 2-3 times as often as men.


  • Approximately 2.2 million American adults, 2 or about 1.1 % of the population age 18 and older in a given year, 1 have schizophrenia.
  • Schizophrenia affects men and women with equal frequency.
  • Schizophrenia often first appears earlier in men, usually in their late teens or early 20s, than in women, who are generally affected in their 20s or early 30s.

Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety disorders include panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and phobias (social phobia, agoraphobia, and specific phobia).

  • Approximately 19.1 million American adults ages 18 to 54, or about 13.3 percent of people in this age group in a given year, have an anxiety disorder.
  • Anxiety disorders frequently co-occur with depressive disorders, eating disorders, or substance abuse.
  • Many people have more than one anxiety disorder.
  • Women are more likely than men to have an anxiety disorder. Approximately twice as many women as men suffer from panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, agoraphobia, and specific phobia, though about equal numbers of women and men have obsessive-compulsive disorder and social phobia.

Eating Disorders

The 3 main types of eating disorders are anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge-eating disorder.

  • Females are much more likely than males to develop an eating disorder. Only an estimated 5 to 15 % of people with anorexia or bulimia and an estimated 35 percent of those with binge-eating disorder are male.
  • In their lifetime, an estimated 0.5 % to 3.7 % of females suffer from anorexia and an estimated 1.1 % to 4.2 % suffer from bulimia.
  • Community surveys have estimated that between 2 % and 5 % of Americans experience binge-eating disorder in a 6-month period.

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