A reason that many social workers are pursuing the mental health practice is because almost half of all Americans or 46% experience some type of mental illness throughout his or her lifespan. (Dinitto & McNeece, 2008 p. 145).
The most widespread mental disorders are impulsive control disorder 25%, anxiety disorders 29%, as well as mood disorders 21%. These numbers represent the percentage of United States population who may experience a mental health disorder. (Dinitto & McNeece, 2008 p. 145).
Bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and certain types of depression are considered serious mental illnesses because they are chronic and continuous opposed to being acute and cureless. (Dinitto & McNeece, 2008 p. 146).
Often times, individuals have more than one mental disorder, or even a mental disorder paired with a substance use disorder. Those who have both a mental disorder and a substance disorder are commonly known as dual diagnoses, co-occurring disorders, and co-morbidity. (Dinitto & McNeece, 2008 p. 147).
The reason that some individuals with mental disorders acquire a substance abuse disorder is because they use the drugs or alcohol as a way to fix symptoms such as depression, hallucinations, and anxiety. (Dinitto & McNeece, 2008 p. 147).
In the past, it was common for mental illnesses to be seen as demonic possession or sin; individuals with severe mental illness were treated brutally and accused of being witches, which were burned. (Dinitto & McNeece, 2008 p. 148).
About half of mental disorders appear by age fourteen and about seventy-five percent appear by age twenty-four; however, it is important that young children are a main worry of mental health practitioners. (Dinitto & McNeece, 2008 p. 153).