How Common is Mental Illness?

“When we’re talking about what is ‘normal,’ this is a lifetime perspective. It’s saying that the average life has at least one period of diagnosable mental illness in it. ” From that perspective, mental illness is a very normal experience.

“But you can also look within a person’s life across people,” he continued, “and say that the average mental health state for people is to not be in a state of diagnosable disorder.”

“You can think of pretty much any successful person you really admire,” said Schaefer, “and the odds are pretty good that they probably had a significant mental health problem at some point. That in and of itself is very reassuring and normalizing—and helps you realize you’re not alone.”

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