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How common are mental health disorders?

Mental health statistics

Mental health disorders are more common than you might think. When we look at the statistics on Americans diagnosed with a chronic condition or working to manage multiple chronic conditions, the number is astonishing. The National Alliance on Mental Illness states that about 43.8 million American adults experience a mental health disorder in a given year. That’s 18.5 percent, or almost one in five Americans.

Common mental health disorders

Of those 43.8 million Americans who will experience a mental health disorder in their lifetime, in any one year:

  • 9% will be diagnosed with depression.
  • 1% will be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder.
  • 6% will be diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
  • 1% will be diagnosed with schizophrenia.

Additionally, these disorders are likely to co-occur. A person managing one mental illness could also be managing one or two other diagnoses. For example, about half of the people diagnosed with a substance use disorder are also diagnosed with depression anxiety disorder.

Mental health disorders in children and adolescents

One in five children have or will have a mental illness in their lifetime. About 20 percent of teens ages 13-18 live with a mental illness.1 Of those teens:

  • 11% are living with mood disorders.
  • 10% are living with a conduct/behavioral disorder.
  • 8% are living with an anxiety disorder.


These statistics give us a look only at diagnosed disorders. It is also important to consider the number of Americans who go undiagnosed or untreated.


For additional information on statistics in the United States and specific populations, go to:





  1. National Alliance of Mental Illness


  1. Mental Health Association of Maryland, Missouri Department of Mental Health, and National Council for Behavioral Health (2013) Mental Health First Aid © USA, Revised First Edition