Mental Distress and Substance Addiction
Mental distress and substance addiction are highly prevalent societal problems, causing immense hardship and suffering for many members of the population. Significant differences exist by gender, type of substance, type of condition, and over time. The following table represents the percentage of men versus women who deal with addiction problems, separated by selected substance. These data show a major gap between genders, with men far surpassing women in levels of addiction for most substances.
Source: Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS). Based on data reported to TEDS through April 3, 2015.
Read more about substance abuse and detoxification here.
OCD, Anxiety, Depression and Mental Distress
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), depression and mental distress are understudied conditions. Although the prevalence of these conditions appears to fluctuate over time, time trend studies indicate that the numbers of people in the population suffering from these conditions may be increasing in time, as represented by the following table based on Centers for Disease Control data for the years 1997 to 2013.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Publications and Information Products, Health Status 2014, Table 51. Serious psychological distress in the past 30 days among adults aged 18 and over, by selected characteristics: United States, average annual, selected years 1997-1998 through 2012-2013.
OCD takes many forms. Compulsive hand washing, germ phobias and avoidance, and mental and other rituals are some of the classical presentations. However, OCD can take a variety of forms which may or may not reflect these typical images. Some times, the condition manifests as largely obsession, with a lesser degree of compulsive behavior, while other times the compulsion part is as strong or stronger than the obsessive element. The following short film Obsessed by The Mighty depicts what it is like to be in the mind of a person with OCD for three minutes. While it does not represent the experience of all people who live with OCD, as OCD manifests in a wide variety of ways, the film provides a jumping-off point from which we can delve further to explore the many nuances that this condition presents.