1 in 5 U.S. adults experiences mental illness each year. This statistic is even higher for mental health in young adults aged 18-25, with 1 in 3 suffering from a diagnosable mental disorder. There are many reasons why young adults are susceptible to mental health issues. For one, they are typically going through significant life changes, such as starting college or beginning a new job. These transitions can be stressful and overwhelming, making it difficult to cope. In addition, young adults often face pressure to succeed academically, professionally, and socially and constant stress can lead to anxiety and depression. Other risk factors for mental illness include substance abuse, trauma, and family history. Fortunately, there are many resources available to help young adults get the treatment they need. Keep reading to learn more about mental health in young adults and when to utilize programs for young adults with mental illness.
What is the Most Common Mental Illness in Young Adults?
Anxiety is the most common mental health concern in the United States, as over 40 million adults have an anxiety disorder. Major Depression is also one of the most common mental illnesses in the U.S. Approximately 21 million adults have experienced at least one depressive episode in their life. These illnesses lead to staggering statistics about mental health in young adults:
- 1 in 5 young adults experiences symptoms of depression or anxiety.
- 6.2% of 16-24-year-olds have attempted suicide.
- Suicide is the 4th leading cause of death among 15-29-year-olds.
- 8.9% of young adults have self-harmed.
- 75% of lifetime mental illness starts by age 24.
What is the Most Effective Young Adult Mental Health Treatment?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the most effective young adult mental health treatment will vary depending on the individual and specific condition being treated. However, a few types of treatment have been shown to be particularly effective in many cases. These include cognitive behavioral therapy, which helps patients identify and change negative thought patterns; medication, which can help stabilize moods and relieve symptoms; and residential treatment programs, which provide a safe space for intensive treatment and support. Ultimately, the best young adult mental health treatment is the one that meets the individual's needs and leads to an improvement in symptoms.
5 Signs It’s Time to Seek Mental Health Treatment for Young Adults
If you think you or a loved one may be experiencing symptoms of a mental health condition, it’s important to reach out for help. Here are five signs that it may be time to seek mental health treatment.
1. You Feel Disconnected or Empty
If you’re feeling disconnected from yourself or the world around you, it could be a sign of depression. Other symptoms of depression can include feeling hopeless, helpless, or worthless and having difficulty eating, sleeping, or performing daily activities. Suicide attempts or thoughts of death or suicide are clear indications that it’s time to find residential programs for young adults with mental illness that can help.
2. You Experience High Levels of Anxiety
Everyone feels anxious at times, but if anxiety is impacting your daily life, it may be time to seek help. Symptoms of anxiety can include excessive worry, restlessness, difficulty concentrating, and feeling on edge. An anxiety-related mental illness can become so severe that it impacts your ability to leave your home, attend school or work, socialize, and function at a normal level.
3. You Avoid Social Interaction
If you’re avoiding social situations or withdrawing from activities you once enjoyed, it may be a sign of a mental illness. Depression and anxiety can cause you to no longer desire to do things you need or want to do–even things that used to make you happy or feel good.
4. You Experience Significant Changes in Eating or Sleeping Habits
Changes in appetite or sleep patterns can be signs of depression or anxiety. For example, you may find yourself either not wanting to eat at all or overeating and feeling guilty afterward. Or you may have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep even when you’re tired. Decreased energy, fatigue, and restlessness are all physical signs that something more serious may be going on mentally.
5. You Struggle with Substance Abuse
If you’re using drugs or alcohol to cope with your feelings, it’s a sign that you’re not coping in healthy ways and may benefit from mental health treatment for young adults. Other symptoms can include using substances more often than intended or experiencing legal problems related to substance use. It’s not uncommon for people struggling with substance abuse to experience mental illness and vice versa.
Residential Mental Health Programs for Young Adults
If you’re experiencing signs of mental illness, it’s important to reach out to a mental health professional. There are many therapies and residential mental health programs for young adults available, depending on the severity and persistence of your symptoms. With the right help, you can develop a plan to manage your mental health. View a list of Residential Programs for Young Adults with Mental Illness or diagnostic/assessment programs to begin your healing journey today.
If you are having suicidal thoughts, call or text 988 to reach a 24/7 crisis hotline. You are not alone!
About the Author
Jenney Wilder, M.S.Ed launched All Kinds of Therapy in 2015, as the only independent online directory for the Family Choice Behavioral Healthcare Industry. With an impressive case of ADHD and her starter career in the 90's in Silicon Valley, the dream for creating a website with features like side-by-side comparison and an integrated newsletter was born. Jenney stopped counting treatment centers and all types of schools that she has visited when she hit 500 many years ago.