Mental and physical illness are linked


Individuals aged 18 and older who have had any mental illness, major depressive episodes or serious mental illness in the prior year are more likely to develop diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma, cardiovascular disease, or have a stroke; more so than those not experiencing mental illness. They even found it was true for individuals who suffered depressive episodes lasting a relatively short two weeks.

In the new study by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) they found that 18.3% of adults who have not experienced any mental illness had high blood pressure. This is compared to the 21.9% who had a mental illness.

In addition to the development of disease, people with mental illness were more likely to use the services of an emergency department than adults without serious mental illness, 48% to 31%. Depressed individuals were more likely to be admitted to the hospital (20.4%) when compared to those with no recent history of mental illness or depressive episodes.

“Behavioral health is essential to health. This is a key SAMHA message and is underscored by this data. Promoting health and wellness for individuals, families and communities means treating behavioral health needs with the same commitment and vigor as any other physical health condition. Communities, families, and individuals cannot achieve health without addressing behavioral health,” said SAHHSA Administrator Pamela S. Hyde.

This information could provide health care providers with information regarding health risks for their patients. It seems that patients with a history, particularly a recent history of mental illness, whether severe or mild, are at a higher risk for several times of illnesses. Prescreening could be incorporated into standard health care.

Source: MedicalNewsToday, SAMHSA


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