15 Crazy facts about mental illness you won’t believe

Imagine you are suffering from a mental illness that causes you to believe your significant other is an imposter set on harming you, or which convinces you to do weird stuff like books are for eating, or worse yet, that you have somehow become the walking dead. Scary, right?

Mental disorders affect peoples’ thinking, mood, and feelings, and depending on the severity, can be debilitating for their quality of life. Every person experiences it differently, and there’s a wide array of mental illnesses, like anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder.

According to WHO, one in four people in the world will be affected by mental or neurological disorders at some point in their lives. Surprisingly, 450 million currently suffer from such conditions worldwide.

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Below are 15 horrifying mental illness facts you won’t believe.


  • In the United States, mental disorders have a higher prevalence in the southern states in comparison to the rest of the country. For example, depression estimates in Mississippi were 13.7% in contrast to North Dakota’s 4.3%.
  • Around 20% of the world’s children and adolescents have mental disorders or problems.
  • A study conducted by CDC shows that 494,169 people were treated at emergency facilities for self-inflicted injuries.
  • Of the mental illnesses, anxiety disorders rank the highest in the United States with 40 million adults (18.1% of the population) suffering from them.
  • Studies also show that genetics, brain defects or injury, prenatal damage, abuse, and trauma, or exposures to toxins play a larger part in mental illness.
  • According to WHO, suicide accounts for 800,000 global deaths a year. It’s the second leading cause of death for people 15 to 29 years old.
  • Many people with a mental illness are afraid of the stigma attached. Only 44% of adults with a mental disorder actually receive treatment.
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  • Soldiers who have been deployed are twice as likely to have a mental disorder.
  • Worldwide, human rights violations are rampant against people with mental illness, including unwanted restraint, denial of basic needs, and lack of privacy. Few countries have laws put in place to protect them.
  • Many experts believe there is an acute mental illness crisis brewing among the current young generation and that 80% of them aren’t receiving treatment.
  • It is more rampant in third world countries. Reports show that in most low to middle-income countries, there is only one psychiatrist for every 1 to 4 million people.
  • According to a study published in EMBO Reports, the total direct and indirect economic cost of mental illness was $2.5 trillion in 2010. Notably, the direct costs, such as getting actual health care treatment, were significantly lower at $0.8 trillion than the indirect costs which were $1.7 trillion.
  • Despite the need for increased spending on mental illness issues, the latest Fiscal Year 2019 budget proposal slashed the Department of Health and Human Services budget by $17.9 billion.
  • Of these countless young people, the prevalence was found higher in females (19.4%) in comparison to males (6.4%).
  • The benefits of treating mental illness greatly outweigh the costs of ignoring it. According to a recent study, for every dollar spent on treating mental disorders the return on investment could be fourfold.
Sandeep Debnath

Written by Sandeep Debnath

The future belongs to the curious. The ones who are not afraid to try it, explore it, question it and turn it inside out. Being a blogger, I started sharing my knowledge and interests here on BlogPoke.