We are living in challenging times – the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and the nation’s existing opioid epidemic are sadly just the tip of an iceberg threatening an already stressed and battle-weary healthcare system, whether you look at the country as whole or more selectively from state to state.
However, for those suffering with a mental health disorder, especially those who have yet to be clinically diagnosed, these current challenges just add to those normal hefty challenges of their daily existence. When you factor in the tremendous effects of the global pandemic, such as widespread unemployment, enforced social isolation, heightened levels of anxiety and stress, and so on, it’s not hard to understand that today’s healthcare systems and many of its mental health patients are close to breaking point.
Idaho: Struggling with Mental Illness
Idaho has continued to struggle with rising mental health issues among its residents for many years, and it continues to get worse. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), nearly a quarter of Idahoans are living with a mental illness.
Additionally, recent statistics make Idaho consistently among those states with the highest suicide rates. For example, in 2016, the “Gem State” actually had the 8th highest suicide rate in the U.S. – with a rate 50% higher than the national average. Lastly, around 13% of Idaho adults who lack health insurance have a serious mental illness, eg. schizophrenia or bipolar disorder.
In Focus: Boise, Idaho
Although Idaho is the most populated county in Idaho, its suicide rate is fortunately the lowest in the state (per capita, based on 2017 recorded data), with the highest rates existing in Nampa and Twin Falls counties. However, that said, it’s 2017 suicide rate of 19.3 per capita is still much, much higher than the average rate across the U.S.
When you look at the prevalence of mental health disorders (and associated conditions, such as substance use disorder) within Boise, the figures mirror the rest of Idaho – again, much higher than the average rates for such disorders across the U.S.
5 Most Common Mental Health Disorders in Boise, Idaho
If you live in Idaho, chances are you know someone who has struggled, or is currently struggling, with a mental health disorder. Mental health issues are becoming increasingly more common, whether it’s depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder or another condition. According to the non-profit Mental Health America’s 2019 State of Mental Health in America report:
- Over 44 million American adults (18.07%) have a mental health condition
- 12.2% (5.3 million) adults with a mental illness remain uninsured, and
- 56.4% of adults (that’s over 24 million) with a mental illness received no treatment
The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) lists the following most common mental health disorders in order of prevalence:
- Anxiety Disorders – 19%
- Depression – 7%
- Dual Diagnosis – 4%
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) – 4%
- Bipolar Disorder – 3%
1. Anxiety Disorders
The most common form of mental health disorder to be found in Boise, Idaho (and, indeed, across the U.S.) is anxiety, which covers a number of quite distinct conditions in itself. Anxiety can manifest in a number of ways, commonly through intense feelings of fear and worry, and it can even cause physical discomfort, sometimes severe, for the sufferer. The various disorders that come under anxiety (and their symptoms) are as follows:
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
- Chronic anxiety
- Exaggerated worry, even when there is little or nothing to provoke it
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD):
- Recurrent, unwanted thoughts (obsessions) and/or
- Repetitive behaviors (compulsions), including:
- Hand washing
- Checking, and
- Panic Disorder:
- Unexpected and repeated episodes of intense fear, and
- Physical symptoms, including:
- Chest pain
- Heart palpitations
- Social Phobia (or Social Anxiety Disorder):
- Overwhelming anxiety and
- Excessive self-consciousness when the sufferer is around other people
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): Because of the high prevalence of PTSD as one of the most common disorders, this is discussed further down
Depression (known clinically as Major Depressive Disorder or clinical depression) is a common but serious mood disorder. It causes severe symptoms that affect your feelings and thoughts and affects all daily activities, such as sleeping, eating, or working. It can manifest in the following ways:
- Persistent Depressive Disorder (Dysthymia):
- Depressed mood that lasts for at least two years
- Postpartum Depression:
- Affecting women after the birth of their baby
- Feelings of extreme sadness, anxiety, and exhaustion either during pregnancy or after (or both)
- Psychotic Depression:
- Severe depression plus some form of psychosis, such as having delusions or hallucinations
- Seasonal Effective Disorder (SAD):
- Onset of depression during the winter months, accompanied by social withdrawal, increased sleep, and weight gain
- Bipolar Disorder (see below) is different from depression, but is included because the sufferer experiences episodes of extremely low moods that meet the criteria for major depression – called “bipolar depression”.
3. Dual Diagnosis
Dual diagnosis (which is also commonly referred to as co-occurring disorder) is the presence of a mental health disorder accompanied by a Substance Use Disorder (SUD), more commonly known as a drug or alcohol addiction. When it comes to treatment, both disorders need to be dealt with simultaneously, as one may prompt the return of the other.
4. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (far more commonly known as PTSD) is an anxiety disorder that can develop after someone has been exposed to a terrifying event or ordeal in which they felt fear for their life or fear of physical harm. Traumatic events that can trigger PTSD include:
- Sexual abuse
- Violent personal assaults
- Natural or man-made disasters, or
- Military service
5. Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar Disorder (formerly called manic-depressive illness or manic depression) is a mental disorder that causes abnormal changes in mood, energy, activity, and concentration, and severely affects daily living. The disorder manifests in 3 distinct types, where all have “up” periods, known as manic episodes (extremely elated, irritable, or energized behavior), and “down” periods, known as depressive episodes (sad, indifferent, or feeling hopeless):
- Bipolar I Disorder:
- Manic episodes that last at least 7 days, or
- Manic symptoms that are so severe that the person needs immediate hospital care
- Usually, depressive episodes occur as well, typically lasting at least 2 weeks
- Bipolar II Disorder:
- A pattern of depressive episodes and hypomanic episodes less severe than Bipolar I Disorder
- Cyclothymic Disorder (Cyclothymia):
- Periods of hypomanic symptoms, and
- Periods of depressive symptoms
- Lasting for at least 2 years (1 year in adolescents)
PROMISE: Mental Health Treatment
Designed specifically for clients who need to continue the stabilization process after leaving an inpatient care (detox) program, Ashwood Recovery’s Promise is a highly structured and personalized outpatient program for people whose primary diagnosis is mental health-related.
Promise is run as a Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP), offering professional clinical treatment to those with acute psychotic and severe mental health issues, and who require intensive day hospitalization to help them transition back into a more independent lifestyle.
The treatment provides:
- Mental health education
- Trauma work
- Experiential activities
- Art therapy
- Yoga/Thai Chi
- Skill building
- Process group
- Goal building and evaluation, and
- Music therapy