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Are mental health conditions prevalent in the United States?

Not all disabilities look the same. Additionally, not all sufferers of disabilities have been battling with a disability for years. For some individuals, like those dealing with mood and substance abuse disorders, may have developed these mental conditions later in life. However, whether a person was born with a disability or acquired one later in life, this does not mean they are not suffering. Even more so, just because a person's disability is not visible on the outside does not mean that they do not have a disability and need just as much help as those living with a physical disability.

Are mental health conditions prevalent in the U.S? According to current data, mood and substance abuse disorders top the list of conditions that are negatively impacting the health of those Americans with commercial health insurance. According to a study that looked at data from over 40 million members of Blue Cross Blue Shield, depression, anxiety and other mood disorders was the top category when it came to health conditions that affected the longevity and quality of life of their members. Coming in at the number five spot was substance abuse disorders.

These conclusions were based on information from members as well as current healthcare costs and the burden of the condition. The prevalence, cost of claims and the impact of more than 200 conditions were assessed in this study. The top conditions on the list are those conditions that are causing a decrease in individuals living at their optimal health.

When serious health conditions, such as mental conditions and diseases, are greatly interfering with a person's health and quality of life, it is likely that they find it challenging to live a normal life. This could mean the inability to obtain or maintain a job, making it impossible to meet their basic needs. In these cases, Social Security disability might be necessary. These benefits could help a disabled individual meet their financial needs, especially when it comes to food, shelter, clothing and other necessities.

Source: Medscape.com, "Mental Disorders Top National List of Health Conditions," Pauline Anderson, Nov. 30, 2016

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