Behavior: Troubled Minds

More common than imagined

It has long been anyone's guess just how many Americans suffer from mental illness. For starters, the many kinds of mental disorders are often difficult to diagnose. And the stigma of seeing a psychiatrist prevents many disturbed people from seeking help. Now the National Institute of Mental Health has completed the most extensive study ever of U.S. mental-health problems, and its conclusions are startling. The study, published in the November Archives of General Psychiatry, concluded that about one-third of all Americans suffer from an acute mental illness at some point in their lives.

The eight-year survey of 18,571 adults in Los...

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