A few months ago, Dr. Ken Duckworth, a psychiatrist in Massachusetts, was swimming in his community’s pool, chatting with other swimmers. When he mentioned his profession, one man wanted Duckworth’s opinion on his struggles with depression; another asked for advice on a family member’s schizophrenia.
“I was sort of amazed. They were talking openly about their psychological vulnerabilities with a stranger in a swimming locker room,” said Duckworth, the medical director for the National Alliance on Mental Illness. “That wouldn’t have happened 15 years ago.”
New research shows that these swimmers aren’t the only ones opening up. According to a new study, more American adults than ever are reporting being disabled by the symptoms of depression, anxiety or other emotional problems.
The report, published Thursday in the American Journal of Public Health, found that people who said they couldn’t perform everyday tasks or engage in social and leisure activities because of a mental illness increased from 2 percent in 1999 to 2.7 percent in 2009. That increase amounts to nearly 2 million more people disabled by mental distress in the past decade, the report said….
Reported by CARRIE GANN