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When a loved-one has traits of Borderline Personality

Monday, March 5, 2012

28% of the US population have either a mental or addictive disorder

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According to, the US Surgeon General estimates that 28% of the US population suffer from either a mental or addictive disorder in a given year.

The current prevalence estimate is that about 20 percent of the U.S. population are affected by mental disorders during a given year. This estimate comes from two epidemiologic surveys: the Epidemiologic Catchment Area (ECA) study of the early 1980s and the National Comorbidity Survey (NCS) of the early 1990s. Those surveys defined mental illness according to the prevailing editions of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. The surveys estimate that during a 1-year period, 22 to 23 percent of the U.S. adult population—or 44 million people—have diagnosable mental disorders, according to reliable, established criteria.

In general, 19 percent of the adult U.S. population have a mental disorder alone (in 1 year); 3 percent have both mental and addictive disorders; and 6 percent have addictive disorders alone.3 Consequently, about 28 to 30 percent of the population have either a mental or addictive disorder (Regier et al., 1993b; Kessler et al., 1998).

Individuals with co-occurring disorders (about 3 percent of the population in 1 year) are more likely to experience a chronic course and to utilize services than are those with either type of disorder alone.

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a serious mental illness characterized by pervasive instability in moods, interpersonal relationships, self-image, and behavior. This instability often disrupts family and work life, long-term planning, and the individual's sense of self-identity. Originally thought to be at the "borderline" of psychosis, people with BPD suffer from a disorder of emotion regulation. While less well known than schizophrenia or bipolar disorder (manic-depressive illness), BPD is more common, affecting 2 percent of adults, mostly young women. There is a high rate of self-injury without suicide intent, as well as a significant rate of suicide attempts and completed suicide in severe cases. Patients often need extensive mental health services, and account for 20 percent of psychiatric hospitalizations. Yet, with help, many improve over time and are eventually able to lead productive lives. provides support, education, tools, and perspective to individuals with a loved one affected by Borderline Personality Disorder. BPFamily is a non-profit, co-op of 55,000 volunteer members and alumni formed in 1994.

Author: Skip 

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  1. It's sad that these statistics are only now coming to prominence - to think that 1 in 3 suffer from these disorders directly, and it's not hard to assume that each of these instances affects at LEAST the direct family members of that person so this really is an issue that touches all of us in one way or another.

    As an Australian I can say that there is finally some extra funding going into mental health support services and this has come along in leaps and bounds over the past decade. I only hope this trend continues.

  2. The sound is sad that one person who are effected BPD disorder not only harm itself also its effected on theirs love ones.I appreciate your efforts GOD bless u.Thanks for sharing.

  3. Other developed countries must have same statistics.Its great BPD family is providing to such people.

  4. This is a really good read for me, Must admit that you are one of the best bloggers I ever saw.Thanks for posting this informative article.

  5. As these kinds of statistics are revealed, I really hope that there is a certain tempering when it comes to the stigmatization of those who are suffering from any type of mental or addictive disorders. It’s difficult to think that so many are suffering and believing they are alone in their struggles, when in reality they really are not alone. This hopefully will encourage a greater number of individuals feel safe in getting properly diagnosed and effectively treated. No one should have to suffer so much.

  6. Wow. When nearly 20% of the country suffers a mental illness and nearly 30% suffer a mental illness and/or an addictive disorder, it's amazing that society remains secretive about them. I certainly hope that with raised awareness, society will decrease the stigma. Suffering in silence and hiding the truth does not help. With such sobering statistics, we need to make sure that the people are accepted and their sufferings are treated, rather than degrading the people and denying their suffering.

  7. With a percentage of 20% with mental disorders, you'd think that mental health would be more supported by society....and insurance companies. I hope this is changing. The few people I've spoken to about BPD have never heard of it, and I think awareness is the first step to healing and compassionate care for those suffering with disorders. This blog and the website is a such a great resource for people to become aware of what sufferers and their loved ones go through.

  8. Now I've learned so much from your site, it is a big rlief to me to stop blaming myself. After no contact for six months and being blocked from s's mob and email, dil turned up on my doorstep with young gc,. She ststed she will come back today with the other gc.. I'm wary that she seems to want to see me on my own and without my s. Am really pleased to get to see the kids especially as oldest is now able to know who I am and remember where I live. However, now I'm clued up, I am not getting too excited that this might be the start of a normal relationhip. I suspect a game plan. I intend to try to use some of the tools you suggest to protect myself. Thank you.