Have you ever heard the expression, “Don’t become a statistic”?

I found the following recovery statistics in an article, Recovery from Severe Mental Illness, encouraging, and an answer to the most cynical attitudes some professionals in the mental health field assume. The article itself was noting the rise of the Recovery Model of mental health treatment. I don’t know about the reliability of this information, and I don’t care so much about that reliability. I still think even such results as you see listed here could be improved significantly.

Over time, most people with schizophrenia will make at least a partial medical recovery. Within ten years of the onset of illness

• Approximately 25 % will be in complete remission;
• 25 % will experience substantially fewer symptoms;
• 25 % will have slightly reduced symptoms;
• 15 % will still experience the same level of symptoms; and
• 10 % will be dead, often as a result of suicide or accident

Look at this, would you!? You’ve got here a 75% improvement rate.

Complete remission though gives me a problem. I would prefer to see the word recovery used here. I don’t see “severe mental illness” as a condition that must be ever present in the background even when “symptoms” are lacking. Cancer remits. Mental health is recovered.

Then we get a bullshit list of factors.

A number of factors can be used to predict medical recovery but these are only indicators. Factors, which suggest that a good recovery is likely, include:

• Good adjustment prior to the start of the illness;
• A family with no history of schizophrenia;
• Developing the illness at an older age;
• Sudden onset of the illness; and,
• Onset of the illness following a major life event.

There are other statistics, for example, this one comes from an article on a girl with what is characterized as anxiety disorder, Living with mental illness.

Kirsten [Weaver] is just one of an estimated 40 million people living with an anxiety disorder. That’s about 18% of adults. She was diagnosed early. Half of all lifetime cases begin by 14 years old, three-quarters by the age of 24.

Anxiety disorder is a relatively minor disorder. In the olden days you might have referred to a person with generalized anxiety disorder as neurotic. Anxiety disorder is an inherited disorder that afflicts 95% of the population under the age of 21. My advice to you Kirsten is this, “Get over it!”

This is why I don’t worship at the church of ‘mental illness’. It’s so much easier to get people into the mental health/illness system than it is to get them out of that system.