Research has shown that mental illness tends to disrupt people’s lives even more than physical conditions, said Dr. Mark S. Komrad, MD, a psychiatrist and author of the excellent book You Need Help! A Step-by-Step Plan to Convince a Loved One to Get Counseling.
“On average, a person with depression is at least 50 percent more disabled than someone with angina, arthritis, asthma or diabetes,” according to this report by The Centre for Economic Performance’s Mental Health Policy Group.
The good news is that treatments for mental illness are highly effective. The bad news is that only one out of three people might actually seek help. And some research suggests that the people who need help the most are typically the least likely to get it.
People understand that you can’t treat a lump in your breast on your own, Dr. Komrad said. But that same understanding doesn’t extend to mental illness.