New Study Shows Most People Will Suffer From A Mental Illness In Their Lifetime

A new study from New Zealand has found that the majority of people will develop a mental illness at some point in their lives.

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It's a well known fact that one in four people will be affected by mental or neurological disorders at some point in their lives.

However, despite the fact the majority of us will know at least one person in our lives who has suffered with a mental health issue, for some, it continues to be a shameful and taboo subject to open up about.

But a new study suggests that the vast majority of people will develop a mental illness at some point.

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The research, published in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology, involved a team following a generation of people all born in the same New Zealand town, from birth to middle age, with authors checking in with participants every few years to see if they were showing any signs of diagnosable mental illnesses.

They found that over 80 per cent of people who took part developed a mental illness at some point during the study, while just 17 per cent showed no signs of developing a disorder.

Researcher Aaron Reuben wrote in the Scientific American that almost everyone will develop at least one diagnosable mental disorder during their lifetime, adding: 'Most of these people will never receive treatment, and their relationships, job performance and life satisfaction will likely suffer.

'Our study shows that you are more likely to experience a bout of mental illness than you are to develop diabetes, heart disease or any kind of cancer whatsoever – combined,' he added.

However, for most this will be temporary.

John Horwood, a psychiatric epidemiologist at the longitudinal Christchurch Health and Development Study in New Zealand, was quoted by Reuben to say: 'A substantial component of what we describe as disorder is often short-lived, of lesser severity or self-limiting.'

Whether a mental illness is short-lived or for life, it's imperative society provides the sufficient, medical attention, and an open space for the sufferer to treat their issues.

The most important thing to remember from this new study is that mental health issues are more common than you think, and we need to start treating mental illness like any other medical issue that complicates, debilitates, or disrupts life.

After all, you never know when it might be you needing a helping hand.

If you think you might be suffering from a mental health disorder and would like to find urgent help, please contact MIND on 0300 123 3393 or click here to find out more.

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