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Infographic: Mental Health and Medications in the United States

Nearly 20% of people in the United States have a mental health illness—and for about 4% of them, that illness is severe enough that it seriously interferes with their ability to work, sleep, or otherwise take care of their health, according to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).

Some of the most common mental health illnesses in the United States include anxiety disorders such as generalized anxiety disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder, major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, and ADHD.

The good news: Many Americans are seeking help. Along with talk therapy, one of the main treatments for mental health illness is medication. Doctors will typically prescribe a low dose of a type of pill or capsule, then gradually increase the dose until you see an improvement in your symptoms. Some people may only need to take medication for a few months, whereas others may need it long-term.

Here’s an overview of who is affected by mental health conditions and who’s taking what.

An overview of who is affected by mental health conditions and who’s taking what. 


Does Your Medication Work for You?

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  1. National Institute of Mental Health
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Center for Health Statistics Antidepressant Use Among Persons Aged 12 and Over: United States, 2011–2014
  3. Fagerness J, Fonseca E, Hess GP, Scott R, Gardner KR, Koffler M, Fava M, Perlis R, Brennan FX, Lombard J Pharmacogenetic-guided psychiatric intervention associated with increased adherence and cost savings
    American Journal of Managed Care 2014 May; 20(5):e146-56
  4. Medline Plus Pharmacogenetic Tests
  5. Brennan FX, Gardner KR, Lombard J,Perlis RH, Fava M, Harris HW, Scott R A Naturalistic Study of the Effectiveness of Pharmacogenetic Testing to Guide Treatment in Psychiatric Patients With Mood and Anxiety Disorders
    The Primary Care Companion for CNS Disorders 2015 Apr 16;17(2)

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