Depression is one of the most common types of mental disorders, with around 7.2 percent of adults reportedly having a major depressive episode in the past year as of 2018. Depression is more common among younger people and females are more susceptible than males. Disparities in poor mental health in the U.S. exist among the various races and ethnicities, as well as among the different states. American Indians/Alaska Natives report the highest rates of poor mental health, while Asians/Pacific Islanders report the lowest rates. The states reporting the highest rates of poor mental health are Oregon, Utah, and Arkansas, while South Dakota, Hawaii, and Nevada report the lowest rates.
Substance abuse has been known to promote symptoms of mental illness and those with mental illness will often abuse substances as a form of self-medication. In 2018, around 17.3 percent of adults who reported alcohol dependence or abuse had serious mental illness. Those suffering from mental illness use illicit drugs of all kinds at higher rates than those without such illness. For example, 29 percent of adults who had mental illness in the past year as of 2018 used marijuana, compared to 13 percent of adults who did not suffer from mental illness.
Treatment for mental health issues can come in many different forms and depends on the type and severity of the disorder. Common treatment methods include psychotherapy, behavioral therapy or counseling, medication, hospitalization, or support groups. Somewhat ironically, the use of psychedelic drugs has also recently been explored in treating a number of mental health disorders. The most common types of professionals seen for treatment among adults with a major depressive episode include a general practitioner or family doctor, psychiatrist, psychotherapist, or psychologist. In 2018, around 32 percent of those who reported a major depressive episode stated that they had serious thoughts of suicide, highlighting the importance of quality and easily accessible mental health treatment. Nevertheless, 41.5 percent of adults in the U.S. report they did not receive mental health services because they could not afford it and 27.7 percent said they did not know where to go for such services.