Mental disorders

As elected officials in Washington propose new laws regarding firearms the following facts should be considered:

In 2011, according to the FBI, the most current year that statistics are available, there were 323 murders committed with a rifle but 496 murders committed with hammers and clubs.

Additionally, as mental health is being once again addressed due to the school shootings in Connecticut, it should be pointed out that the individual responsible had been diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome. This is not a mental illness in the true sense of the word and is considered an Autism spectrum disorder. It has been deleted from the 2013 edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s DSM, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual. This is due, in part, to the vagueness of the disorder as a whole.

An estimated 22.1 percent of Americans ages 18 and older (about 1 in 5 adults) suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year. This figure translates to 46.4 million people.

Approximately 18.8 million American adults, or about 9.5 percent of the U.S. population age 18 and older in a given year, have a depressive disorder.

Four of the 10 leading causes of disability in the U.S. are mental disorders major depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Many people suffer from more than one mental disorder at a given time. Over 90 percent of suicide victims have a diagnosable mental disorder.

Robert J. Boinske


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