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What's behind America's mental health crisis?

Updated: Jan 4, 2020

If you feel like depression is practically ubiquitous in American life these days, you’re not wrong.




The facts behind America's mental health crisis


Data presented in the National Survey on Drug Use and Health reports that an estimated 17.3 million adults living within the U.S. suffered at least one episode of major depression in 2018. The CDC cites major depression as one of the most common forms of mental illness plaguing the United States today. What’s causing this alarming trend? Let’s dive into some of the nuances behind one of one of America’s most pressing health crises.


Life is simply more demanding


American workloads are becoming increasingly more demanding while pay often fails to keep up with inflation. Americans have less leisure time than ever before and are either unable or unwilling (due to pressures of their job) to take time off so they can recharge. The Center of Economic Research finds that 25% of private sector workers are not provided paid vacation time throughout the year, while 52% of workers that have paid time off as a benefit fail to use them up by the end of the year. The United States is the only advanced economy in the world that doesn’t have protections in place that guarantee workers paid time off.



Social media changed everything


Social media can be a blessing and a curse, and it becomes more pervasive in our lives with each passing year. In some ways, we’re more connected to each other than ever before. Still, many experts argue that our relationships and sense of community actually suffer as a result. Countless studies have underlined correlations between social media use and a negative effect on mental health, but the most recent studies are finally demonstrating causation. A study published by the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology showed that adjustments to time spent on social media contributed to measurable effects on feelings of self-work, anxiety, and depression.



Mental health services are in demand, but barriers stand in the way


“42% [of Americans] said that they were unable to access mental health care due to the high associated costs.”

As the stigma surrounding major depressive disorder and other mental health issues fades, more people feel comfortable about reaching out for help. 76% of American adults believe that mental health is just as important as physical health according to a survey conducted by Ketchum Analytics. As demand rises, mental health services remain inaccessible as ever. America’s Mental Health is a yearly study designed to assess trends in the accessibility of mental health in the United States, and their 2018 report paints a pretty grim picture. Out of 5,000 American adults that were surveyed, 42% said that they were unable to access mental health care due to the high associated costs or insufficient medical insurance. Even more alarming: 1 in 4 surveyed adults said that they had to choose between getting mental health treatment and paying their bills.


We're here to help


Life is hard, but taking care of your mental health doesn’t have to be. If you’re affected by the mental health crisis in the United States, we’ll provide all of the tools you need to get your life back. Give us a call or send us an email to schedule your free consultation and see if TMS is right for you.

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