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How common are serious mental illnesses like schizophrenia?

Mark Moronell, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
The National Alliance on Mental Illness reports that 5% to 7% of adults are currently living with a serious mental illness. Some of these mental conditions cause severe symptoms for sufferers, including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and major depression. Most of the people affected by mental illness do not have schizophrenia, however. While about 1 in 20 people has a serious mental illness, only 1 out of 100 people will be affected by schizophrenia. The fact that mental illnesses like schizophrenia are so relatively common is a serious public health issue. These diseases can increase one's risk of committing suicide, or make one more likely to die at a young age. Serious mental illnesses like schizophrenia are also the primary cause of disability for teenagers and young adults.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.