Vim & Vigor - Summer 2017 - University of Virginia - 48
HEALTH BY THE NUMBERS BY ALLISON MANNING
1 in 5
Approximate number of adults
in the U.S. who experience
mental illness each year.
Depression ranks #1
on the list of most prevalent mental illnesses. It affects more than
26 percent of adults in the U.S.
of adults with mental
health symptoms think
people are caring and
sympathetic toward those
with mental illness.
of adults in the
U.S. with a mental
health condition did
not receive mental
health services in
the past year.
Lost earnings annually because of
serious mental illness in the U.S.
of mental health
by age 24.
Sources: National Institute of Mental Health, The American Journal of Psychiatry, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Archives of General
Psychiatry, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Alliance on Mental Illness
3 FACTS TO KNOW
ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH
SUMME R 2017
2. Anxiety is prevalent for a good
reason. Early humans developed hormonal
responses for survival. "If we saw a tiger,"
Hamilton says, "anxiety would help us get
up and run." In the modern world, anxiety
doesn't prove as useful, and yet, we still
react at the same level of alarm. Hamilton
says, "The tigers are now inside of us."
3. Mindfulness is no joke. Hamilton
confirms, "Mindfulness helps. They've
known this in the East for centuries."
And Western researchers have shown
that mindfulness meditation changes the
brains of ordinary people and can prevent
depression as effectively as medication.
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ILLUSTRATIONS BY THINKSTOCK
Mental illness causes more disability
in developed countries than any other
illness, including cancer and heart disease, according to the World Health
Organization. And yet, mental illness is
widely misunderstood. David Hamilton,
MD, a UVA Health System psychiatrist,
clears up misunderstandings and outdated
perceptions about mental illness.
1. Electroshock therapy is not
torture. It is performed in a hospital under
general anesthesia, so the patient feels no
pain. "It is the gold standard for the treatment of severe depression-for people
who cannot get out of bed," Hamilton says.