Monday, June 10, 2013

Mental Illness Is a Serious Illness

Mental illness is a serious disease, and the consequences of not treating it can lead to physical health problems and even premature death. The Incidental Economist’s Bill Gardener identified several studies showing on average people suffering from a mental illness die earlier.

From The Incidental Economist:
“Mental illness isn’t just about happiness: Mental illness kills. Sometimes by suicide, of which mental illness is a principal cause. But most of the excess deaths among the mentally ill are caused by diseases such as cardiovascular disease or cancer.  In a sense, mental illness amplifies the risk or lethality of physical health problems. This occurs for many reasons.  Mentally ill people are more likely to develop tobacco, alcohol, and substance abuse addictions. Mentally ill people also experience high levels of stress from the loss of jobs, marriages, and families. Chronic diseases such as diabetes require intensive daily self-care routines and mental illness undermines a patient’s ability to carry these out.”
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