Most people have at least one bout of depression, anxiety or other disorder, study suggests
Abnormal is the new normal in mental health.
A small, poorly understood segment of the population stays mentally healthy from age 11 to 38, a new study of New Zealanders finds. Everyone else encounters either temporary or long-lasting mental disorders.
Only 171 of 988 participants, or 17 percent, experienced no anxiety disorders, depression or other mental ailments from late childhood to middle age, researchers report in the February Journal of Abnormal Psychology. Of the rest, half experienced a transient mental disorder, typically just a single bout of depression, anxiety or substance abuse by middle age.
“For many, an episode of mental disorder is like influenza, bronchitis, kidney stones, a broken bone or other highly prevalent conditions,” says study coauthor Jonathan