People who use the term mental illness to describe themselves often face challenges when seeking treatment.
Many don’t know they have a mental illness, or don’t recognize they have one.
A new study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, shows that a person’s mental illness can have significant impacts on their financial well-being.
The study, conducted by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania and the University at Buffalo, found that about 70% of the people they surveyed who were diagnosed with mental illness did not seek treatment because they didn’t think it would be necessary.
They were “overly optimistic” about the likelihood of getting help, said lead author Daniel Kukoski, an assistant professor of medicine at Penn.
“This is not surprising given the amount of money people spend on mental health services,” he said.
“People who are over optimistic about their chances of getting treatment are likely to get very little in the way of help.”
The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health.
The research was published online Nov. 11 in the journal Archives of General Psychiatry.
It was conducted by Dr. Daniel K. Kukosh, associate professor of psychiatry at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
The findings of the study were based on data from a national survey of more than 8,000 people, who were asked about their health status and about their perceptions of the financial situation of people with mental health issues.
The survey, which was conducted in 2011, was the first to collect data from people who were living with mental illnesses.
Previous studies have found that people with major mental illness are more likely to have negative health outcomes, such as an inability to work, and less likely to take advantage of job opportunities.
People with mental disorders were also more likely than the general population to experience financial difficulties, said Kuko, a clinical psychologist.
The researchers said their research showed that mental health professionals may need to work with people with chronic health conditions in order to address mental health conditions.
For example, a mental health professional may need information about how to help people who have substance use disorders or depression.
“I’m not suggesting that mental illness is a silver bullet, but we do need to be aware of this as an opportunity to help,” Kukoz said.
The people who responded to the survey said they didn�t have the money to pay for a full diagnosis.
They also weren’t sure how to find a doctor who could treat them.
Many were reluctant to seek out a mental healthcare professional, said Dr. David F. Tompkins, a psychiatrist at the Mayo Clinic.
People who live with mental conditions often need additional treatment, but not necessarily a full-blown diagnosis, said Tompkin, who was not involved in the study.
In addition, they were reluctant, he said, to seek help for mental health problems that are common and preventable.
“In many ways, this study shows the need for people to take mental health care seriously,” said Tampkins, who is also a professor at the Vanderbilt University School and the Yale University School.
“It should be part of the conversation about mental health.”
The findings are similar to research by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
The CDC reported that in 2011 alone, mental health disorders cost the U.S. health care system more than $9 billion, or $3.9 billion for each of the country�s 5.5 million people with a mental disorder.
Mental health conditions include depression, anxiety, panic disorder, schizophrenia, obsessive-compulsive disorder and obsessive-like behavior, according to the Centers for Disease Disease Control.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness reports that one in four Americans will be diagnosed with a serious mental illness in their lifetime.
About 15% of people will have a major mental health condition.
About one in three will have major depression.
About a third of people who will have PTSD will have been exposed to a traumatic event, like a car accident, said Jennifer O’Connor, an associate professor in psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the New York University School to Advancement.
A lot of people don�t know what mental illness means.
They think it�s a disease.
But it is more like a physical illness, she said.
Mental illness is not a diagnosis, and the fact that people do not know what it means does not mean they do not need treatment, O’Conner said.
People also can face challenges paying bills and caring for loved ones.
They may not be able to afford an emergency room visit or other care for someone who needs help.
People often do not understand the consequences of their decisions, said O’Connors� co-author, Dr. Mark Rosenbaum, a professor of medical psychology at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Engineering.
“The reality is that people can make bad decisions that have negative consequences,” he added.
“They may not understand that it would have a negative impact on their finances.”