REPORT: Mental Illness & Behavioral Disorder Diagnoses Are Skyrocketing In the UK

Brittany M. Hughes | November 13, 2023
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Where’d all the happy people go?

Not in the UK, it turns out. According to this, the number of people with “hidden disabilities” - to include a range of mental health issues - in Great Britain is skyrocketing. In fact, diagnoses of conditions from depression and anxiety to kleptomania and schizophrenia has risen nearly two-thirds since 2011. Those with disabilities, including “hidden” ones, now comprise about a quarter of the entire UK population, having jumped from 3.9 million in 2011 to 16 million today.

The Daily Mail reports that of those diagnoses, 33 percent are diagnoses of mental health illnesses like depression and schizophrenia, while 22 percent are social and behavioral disorders (including kleptomania and pyromania) and 8 percent are learning disabilities.

In children, about half of all “hidden” disabilities are social or behavioral, followed by mental health problems and learning deficiencies.

“Hidden behavioural conditions include conduct disorder, where sufferers engage in violence, theft and dishonesty, and oppositional defiant disorder, defined as 'a pattern of angry, argumentative behaviour or vindictiveness,’” the report explains.

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One organization for those with disabilities told the Daily Mail it estimates only about 20% of those registered with disabilities have conditions visible to the eye. Fourth-fifths, on the other hand, are “hidden” mental or behavioral issues.

The problem isn’t unique to the UK. In the United States, post-“pandemic” data shows COVID lockdowns had a significant impact on Americans’ mental health. According to the American Psychological Assocation, “The 2022 COVID-19 Practitioner Impact Survey found that demand for anxiety and depression treatment remained high for the third consecutive year while demand for treatment for trauma- and stressor-related disorders and substance use disorders has grown…Nearly 8 in 10 psychologists (79%) said that they had seen an increase in the number of patients with anxiety disorders since the beginning of the pandemic, and 66% saw an increase in demand for treatment for depression.” The National Institutes of Health estimate more than one in five U.S. adults live with a mental illness, equating to nearly 60 million people.

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