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Why Americans Struggle to Get Mental Health Care

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Mental health problems are common in America among all populations

Mental health disorders can present in the form of stress disorder, anxiety, depression and even suicide. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates 13.4 suicide deaths per 100,000 people. The number of major depressive disorder ambulatory care visits (to physician offices, hospital outpatient and emergency departments) is about 8 million. More seriously are the problems Americans have to deal with upon seeking mental health care.

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Lack of awareness

The American Psychiatric Office for Minority and National Affairs has published many data related to mental health issues that face many people in need of care. Some of these issues include lack of awareness about mental or psychiatric disorders as some people just seek medical advice when there is physical or disabling disease.

Mental health stigma

Some people are afraid of the stigma of mental illness. This applies also to family discussion or primary care consultation. A doctor may “prescribe” things like exercise or medications for physical symptoms without the psychological symptoms being treated. Some people just do not want to be judged for having an “invisible illness” that is hard to understand.

Insurance coverage

Many Americans don’t have mental health insurance. For people who have health insurance, problems are still present to limit their adequate mental health care. It is common to spend a long time looking for a therapist or a care provider since there is usually shortage of mental health professionals, with months of waiting lists if you find one.

Sometimes the information about therapists are outdated or missing, and you will have to call every one of them to make sure that they accept your insurance plan or the one you chose is the right one for your specific condition.

Many mental conditions require long-term treatment for months or even years, such as depression, autism or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). This will lead to major financial burden on the family.

Did you know an addiction can be caused by a mental disorder?

One of the primary reasons that mental disorders and substance abuse so often go hand-in-hand is that drugs and alcohol can provide an escape from the pressures of mental health problems. Self-medicating is surprisingly common: you’re not alone.

But unlike real, effective, long-term solutions, such as medication and detoxification in a treatment center, drugs and alcohol won’t amount to effective treatment.

If you suspect that your loved one is suffering from addiction, then take our free 3 minute assessment.

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