Study: Record number of Americans suffer from serious psychological distress
A study about serious psychological distress, or SPD, and the care options available to those affected by it reveals a rather grim reality.
According to researchers with the NYU Langone Medical Center, SPD cases have increased in recent years while the availability of mental health care for the condition has diminished.
The Centers for Disease Control describes the disorder as one that results in, "feelings of sadness, worthlessness, and restlessness that are hazardous enough to impair people's physical wellbeing."
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In an examination of federal health information, the NYU researchers determined that about 3.4 percent of people in the U.S. (more than 8.3 million) are SPD sufferers. Previous estimates put the figure at roughly 3 percent.
Meanwhile, mental heath services for treating that specific condition are decreasing, though exactly why that is remains unknown.
Judith Weissman, the study's lead author, suggests it could be due to, "shortages in professional help, increased costs of care not covered by insurance, the great recession, and other reasons worthy of further investigation."
She also commented, "Based on our data, we estimate that millions of Americans have a level of emotional functioning that leads to lower quality of life and life expectancy. Our study may also help explain why the U.S. suicide rate is up to 43,000 people each year."
Further investigation into the matter is planned.