psychological distress
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Do you find that you are stressed-out much of the time? Do you feel anxious throughout your day, depressed or both? If so, you may think that you are alone? In many cases, one’s mental illness tells them that no one can understand what they are going through. One can develop the feeling that everyone around them is happy, while they are mired in constant suffering. However, the reality is that there are millions of Americans struggling with the same issues.

What’s more, mental illness affects millions around the globe. As a result, the World Health Organization (WHO) has launched a year-long campaign to help the more than 300 million people living with depression get assistance.

It is extremely common for people’s psychological distress to prevent them from seeking help for their mental health disorder. Perhaps the only thing more tragic than receiving a diagnosis for a form of mental illness, is when it is left untreated.

Psychological Distress In America

A new study took a close look at data from a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC) survey of more 35,000 households across the country. The analysis showed that an estimated 8.3 million American adults (about 3.4 percent of the population) struggle from serious psychological distress, CBS News reports. Any issue from hopelessness and nervousness to depression and anxiety. The findings were published in the journal Psychiatric Services.

Without treatment for such conditions, substance use, abuse and suicide are a common occurrence. Unfortunately, the majority of people suffering from such dis-ease are unable to access care or afford care. And many people’s illness hinders their ability to seek help even when they do have access and/or can afford assistance.

“Mental illness is on the rise. Suicide is on the rise. And access to care for the mentally ill is getting worse,” said lead researcher Judith Weissman, a research manager in the department of medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center.

The research links the rise in psychological distress to the Great Recession of late 2007 and beyond. The trauma of losing work and home left serious scars on many Americans, having long-term effects.

Navigating Mental Health Care

Weissman highlights the fact that there is a serious shortage of mental health professionals in the U.S., according to the article. Coupled with the fact that insurance companies still hesitate or fight to not cover mental health service claims; getting covered for the help you need is no easy task. She points out that mental health services need to be better integrated with primary care.

“We need to increase access to care for the mentally ill,” she said. “We also need to put trained psychiatrists and mental health providers within the primary care setting. If you have linkages of care within primary care, then the mentally ill patient can be helped even if they’ve come in for some other reason.”

Treatment is Available

If you answered “yes” to any of the questions at the beginning of the article, failing to seek help will only make the problem worse. It is possible that you have started down, or are in the grips of an addiction with a co-occurring mental health disorder. If so, please contact Hope by the Sea today to begin the process of recovery. Our highly-skilled staff is not only trained in treating addiction, we can help you address conditions like depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder as well.