Mental Health and Mental Illness: Measuring the Depth Within

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Running Head: MEASURING THE DEPTH WITHIN Mental Health & Mental Illness Definitions Mental health is defined as the state of satisfactory use of mental function, which results in productive activities, interactions, adjustment to change and coping with challenges (Healthy People 2020, 2012). It is fundamental to one's personal well-being, his interpersonal relationships, and fruitful participation in, and contribution to, society in general. Mental illness or mental disorder refers as a whole to all diagnosable disturbances of the mind. These disturbances are characterized by changes in thinking, mood, and/or behavior, which produce pain, discomfort, abnormal functioning or death. Mental illnesses are serious medical conditions, which cannot be overcome by simple will power. They are not caused by personality weakness or intelligence (Healthy People 2020; NAMI, 2012). Current Statistics Although widespread, mental illness afflicts only about 6% of the population (NAMI, 2012). This translates to 1 in every 17 Americans or approximately 57.7 million Americans who experience a mental disorder in a given year. The World Health Organization reported that mental disorders account for 4 out of the 10 leading causes of disability in the US and other developed countries. In addition, the US Surgeon General's report stated that 10% of children and adolescents in the US suffer from these disorders. These, in turn, severely affect their lives at home, in school and with
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