People experiencing mental illness die earlier than the general population due to an inability to make healthy choices and seek health care. Notably, low-income individuals are at higher risks for mortality due to possible confinement to their homes, financial difficulties, or untreated mental illness. Furthermore, those who are in prison and not receiving psychiatric care for their mental disorders are also at increased risks for premature death. A study published by The National Center for Biotechnology Information explored mortality rates related to specific types of mental disorders between 2009 and 2015. The research findings highlight new insights into how mental disorders, such as depression and substance abuse, impact the lives of people and their life expectancies.

The Study

The research examined mortality rates for mental disorders and how they changed due to the age and sex of the individual. They found that men with mental illness had life expectancies ten years shorter when compared to men of the same age without mental illness. Similarly, women with mental disorders had life expectancies seven years shorter when compared to women of the same age without mental illness. Individuals with accompanying substance use disorders, particularly alcoholism, have four times the likeliness of premature death than the general population. Among opioid users, they are four to fifteen times more likely to experience premature death compared to the general population.

The Conclusions

This study emphasizes the need to improve overall health and resources for people affected by mental illness and accompanying substance use disorders. The noticeable mortality gap between those who have a mental illness, or those with associated substance use disorders, highlights the importance of establishing regular screening, providing access to health care, and forming suitable preventions of premature death in these populations.

Looking for Help?

Mental illness is a prevalent and invasive problem around the world. Health services and resources are crucial for battling the mortality rates associated with these mental disorders. It is also imperative that we focus on establishing substantial resources to treat accompanying substance use disorders to drugs or alcohol. If you are striving for a better future, there is hope. At Fort Worth Recovery, we offer a nurturing space to support clients on their road to long-lasting recovery. If you or a loved one is struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, call us today at 844.332.1807 or visit us online.


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