Mental illness is the leading cause of disability in the United States. Since 2012, there has been a sharp spike in the number of diagnoses and prescriptions written for mental health disorders, especially amongst teenagers. It is imperative to learn about symptoms and treatment options and dispel the silence and stigma traditionally associated with even the most common psychological issues. Dysthymic disorder – also known as persistent depressive disorder – is a form of depression that, being less severe, can easily go undiagnosed and put sufferers at risk.
Why Mental Health Matters
Recent studies have confirmed rising rates of depression and suicide among teens as well as adults, coupled with a decrease in access to mental health services and psychiatric treatment. Currently, about forty-three million adults in the U.S. have a mental health condition, and up to fifty-seven percent may go without treatment, increasing the risk of comorbidity; substance abuse; financial and relational problems; self-mutilation; and even loss of life. The suicide rate among teens spiked drastically between 2007-2015 and is still on the rise, with over half of youth aged eleven to seventeen reporting weekly thoughts of suicide or self-harm over a five-year period.