The State of Mental Health in America in 2022
It’s no secret that mental health is an extremely important topic. It affects the daily lives of many, impacting not only the way we think, but how we act and feel at any given moment.
At Pettable, we want to raise awareness about mental health and its impact. We believe that through raising awareness, we can destigmatize mental illness and create a safe place for everyone to openly discuss the issues many peopel face. To that end, we surveyed 1,500 Americans to get an idea of what mental health looks like in the United States in 2022.
Common Mental Illnesses
While there is a large variety of mental illnesses that people live with every day, there are some that are more common than others. Of those who have been diagnosed with mental illness, depression and anxiety are by far the most common and roughly two-thirds of diagnosed individuals struggle with either or both.
Mental Health and Work Environments
As remote work has become exponentially more common over the last two years, there have been many conversations about working from home in contrast to working in an office. The majority of respondents reported that their mental health is better when working from home, versus working in an office or a hybrid of home and office.
Mental Health and Gender
Gender can play a role in our mental health and our risk of having certain mental illnesses. Anxiety and PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) are notably more common among female respondents and dissociative disorders are more prevalent among male respondents. Women are 17% more likely to have anxiety and 15% more likely to have PTSD, whereas men are 12% more likely to be diagnosed with dissociative disorders.
Social Media and Mental Health
In the age of the internet, there is a lot online that can influence our minds, with social media being one of the biggest. In fact, those that use social media are 15% more likely to be diagnosed with a mental illness than those that don’t use it.
In addition, it seems that the more time you spend on social media, the chances of you being diagnosed with a mental illness go up. Fifty-seven percent of respondents who spend three hours or more on social media each day reported being diagnosed with mental illness, versus 37% of respondents that don’t spend time on social media—leaving a 20% gap between the two groups of people.
There is also a correlation between the amount of time spent on social media and the percentage of respondents with eating disorders or body dysmorphia. Data shows that respondents had an increased chance of being diagnosed with body dysmorphia after spending three hours or more on social media each day.
Apart from body dysmorphia, other specific mental illnesses seem to be more prevalent for those that use social media in comparison to those that don’t. Those that use social media are 9% more likely to be diagnosed with anxiety, 15% more likely to be diagnosed with an emotional or behavioral disorder (such as ODD, CD, or ADHD), and an astounding 24% more likely to be diagnosed with depression when compared to respondents that don’t use social media.
Effects of Income on Anxiety and Depression
Of those whose income is more than $50,000 per year and who have been diagnosed with a mental illness, 63% struggle with depression and 59% were diagnosed with anxiety. For respondents that make less than $50,000 per year, there is a 16% increased rate of both depression and anxiety—79% deal with depression and 75% with anxiety.
Mental Health Treatment
Mental health treatment can create a world of difference for those struggling with mental illness. The most common treatment options are medication and mental health counseling or therapy.
Seventy-one percent of all respondents that were diagnosed with a mental illness take medication to help with it, as prescribed by a doctor. Males are 11% more likely than females to take medication for their mental illness. Seventy-six percent of males diagnosed with mental illness take medication, versus 65% of females.
Fifty-nine percent of all respondents have gone to therapy or mental health counseling at some point in their life. The remaining 41% haven’t participated in some type of mental health counseling and the top reasons for not utilizing this type of treatment are the cost being too high (23%), they don’t have health insurance or their insurance doesn’t cover mental health treatment (25%), and the thought of going makes them uncomfortable (18%).
You can find out more about mental health in America in our two other survey reports:
COVID’s Affect on Mental Health in the United States
The Impact of ESAs on Mental Health in America
We surveyed 1,500 people in the United States about their mental health over the last two years. We asked them about mental illnesses they’ve been diagnosed with, their experience with mental health counseling, and what changes in mental wellness they’ve experienced or noticed.
Here’s a breakdown of the respondents:
18–24 years: 15%
25–34 years: 24%
35–44 years: 31%
45–54 years: 13%
55+ years: 17%