We Are Survivors 

This blog is dedicated to the tens of millions of adult survivors of child abuse and neglect who get up every day and try to work and function in a world that seems to not care about us.

Mental Diagnoses of Child Abuse Survivors-Part 1

It seems like most of the coverage about mental health disorders is primarily presented by pharmaceutical companies. The main ones talked about in general are those affecting people diagnosed with depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and autism. Research gives us a more accurate picture of both the scope of mental illnesses and the major disorders affecting Americans.

Over ¼ of Americans age 18 and older are diagnosed with a mental disorder in any given year. The 2004 U.S. Census data determined that figure to be about 58 million people. The leading cause of disability for ages 15-44 are mental disorders. It is important to note that many people usually have more than one disorder at a time.[1]

Listed below are the statistics for disorders for the U.S. population most of which are for age 18 and older in any given year. There are seven categories. Depression and bipolar fall into the same category while schizophrenia and autism are in categories of their own.

MOOD DISORDERS: Major Depressive Disorder, Dysthymic (Despondent) Disorder, and Bipolar Disorder

  • Mood Disorders in General
    • Approximately 21 million or 9.5 percent
    • Median age of onset is 30 years
    • Co-occur with anxiety disorders and substance abuse
  • Major Depressive Disorder
    • Approximately 14.8 million or 6.7 percent
    • Median age of onset is 32
    • Major Depressive Disorder is the leading cause of disability for ages 15-44
    • Major Depressive Disorder is more prevalent in women than in men
  • Dysthymic Disorder
    • Approximately 3.3 million or 1.5 percent
    • Median age of onset is 31
    • Must have chronic, mild depression for at least 2 years (1 year for children to meet the criteria for the diagnosis
  • Bipolar Disorder
    • Approximately 5.7 million or 2.6 percent
    • Median age of onset is 25
  • Suicide
    • In 2004, 32,439 people died by suicide
    • More than 90 percent had a diagnosable mental disorder, most commonly a depressive or substance abuse disorder
    • Four times as many men die by suicide, however, women attempt suicide two or three times as often as men  

ANXIETY DISORDERS: Panic Disorder, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and Phobias (Social, Agoraphobia and Specific Phobia)

  • Anxiety Disorders in General
    • Approximately 40 million or 18.1 percent
    • Frequently co-occur with depressive disorders or substance abuse
    • Nearly ¾ of those with an anxiety disorder will have their first episode by age 21.5
  • Panic Disorder
    • Approximately 6 million or 2.7 percent
    • Median age of onset is 24
    • About 1 in 3 people with panic disorder develops agoraphobia, a condition where a person becomes afraid of being unable to escape or get help
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
    • Approximately 2.2 million or about 1 percent
    • Median age of onset is 19
  • Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
    • Approximately 7.7 million or about 3.5 percent
    • Median age of onset is 23
    • About 19 percent of Vietnam veterans experience PTSD at some point
    • This disorder also frequently occurs after violent personal assaults such as rape, mugging, or domestic violence; terrorism; natural or human-caused disasters; and accidents
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder
    • Approximately 6.8 million or about 3.1 percent
    • Median age of onset is 31
  • Agoraphobia
    • Approximately 1.8 million or about 0.8 percent
    • Median age of onset is 20
  • Specific Phobia
    • Approximately 19.2 million or about 8.7 percent
    • Median age of onset is 7
    • Involves marked and persistent fear and avoidance of a specific object or situation

This discussion will continue in our next post titled “Mental Diagnoses of Child Abuse Survivors – Part 2.

 


[1] Mental Health Statistics, National Institute of Mental Health, 2006

 

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Child Abuse Survivors Disserved by Media
Mental Diagnoses of Child Abuse Survivors-Part 2
 

Comments 4

shelaghstephen on Wednesday, 05 March 2014 10:19

Psychology is fake science. These 'diagnoses' are based solely upon victims' testimonials with no examination of objectively verifiable data. They are entirely dependent upon the fake scientists' guesswork, which can go one way or another without any controls. Do not trust these quacks. It is fashionable now to believe that CSA is real, but back when it was not fashionable, CSA victims were 'diagnosed' with a variety of labels as if they had inherited diseases, providing their abusers with a cover. This is how psychology began. Abusers brought their victims to a fake doctor who, after a mere conversation (!) with the victims, 'diagnosed' them as 'ill' instead of seeing that they were abused and reporting to the police. Beware of fake science. It should be abolished.

0
Psychology is fake science. These 'diagnoses' are based solely upon victims' testimonials with no examination of objectively verifiable data. They are entirely dependent upon the fake scientists' guesswork, which can go one way or another without any controls. Do not trust these quacks. It is fashionable now to believe that CSA is real, but back when it was not fashionable, CSA victims were 'diagnosed' with a variety of labels as if they had inherited diseases, providing their abusers with a cover. This is how psychology began. Abusers brought their victims to a fake doctor who, after a mere conversation (!) with the victims, 'diagnosed' them as 'ill' instead of seeing that they were abused and reporting to the police. Beware of fake science. It should be abolished.
Diane on Wednesday, 05 March 2014 13:29

I can understand why you may feel that way. There is a lack of trained trauma therapists, and survivors have had problems in finding someone who they feel can help them. However, there are a sizeable number of very good therapists (mine included) who are very reputable and work hard to help survivors overcome their traumatic pasts.

0
I can understand why you may feel that way. There is a lack of trained trauma therapists, and survivors have had problems in finding someone who they feel can help them. However, there are a sizeable number of very good therapists (mine included) who are very reputable and work hard to help survivors overcome their traumatic pasts.
shelaghstephen on Sunday, 09 March 2014 18:08

I do not deny that good trauma therapists may exist. But they cannot read the minds of their 'patients' and any real therapist will admit this obvious fact. It is time that a class action lawsuit was launched by all CSA victims who have been told by fake 'professionals' that they imagined the sins committed against them.

0
I do not deny that good trauma therapists may exist. But they cannot read the minds of their 'patients' and any real therapist will admit this obvious fact. It is time that a class action lawsuit was launched by all CSA victims who have been told by fake 'professionals' that they imagined the sins committed against them.
Diane on Monday, 10 March 2014 08:16

I'm sorry, but I don't understand when you say survivors are told "they imagined the sins committed against them." I do know for years the False Memory Syndrome Foundation (FMSF) - an organization whose purpose is to advocate for parents whose children have accused them of being child molesters or pedophiles - is not, in my opinion, reputable. The FMSF’s fabricated diagnosis – False Memory Syndrome – has never followed the established principles for determining the effectiveness of treatments which include:
• Randomized clinical trials to improve the validity of causal conclusions, and
• Replication of results in multiple settings to improve the validity of results for actual practice.
Thus, there are no published case histories in any peer-reviewed clinical or scientific journals of their so-called False Memory Syndrome.

I also know that too many therapists are not trauma trained and misdiagnose survivors which is not healthy or helpful for survivors. I have worked for a long time to educate others on the long-term effects of child abuse, but there is still a lot of work to be done.

0
I'm sorry, but I don't understand when you say survivors are told "they imagined the sins committed against them." I do know for years the False Memory Syndrome Foundation (FMSF) - an organization whose purpose is to advocate for parents whose children have accused them of being child molesters or pedophiles - is not, in my opinion, reputable. The FMSF’s fabricated diagnosis – False Memory Syndrome – has never followed the established principles for determining the effectiveness of treatments which include: • Randomized clinical trials to improve the validity of causal conclusions, and • Replication of results in multiple settings to improve the validity of results for actual practice. Thus, there are no published case histories in any peer-reviewed clinical or scientific journals of their so-called False Memory Syndrome. I also know that too many therapists are not trauma trained and misdiagnose survivors which is not healthy or helpful for survivors. I have worked for a long time to educate others on the long-term effects of child abuse, but there is still a lot of work to be done.

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