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There are so many inequalities in American life today and they are so intertwined with one another that it makes it difficult to discuss one without discussing the other or others that may be involved within one subject area This paper is going to try and focus on socioeconomic inequalities in the arena of mental health This very deep subject matter would require a lot more information than this paper to convey the importance of recognizing inequality in this area This paper is going to try to stick to a very brief overview of our mental health care system in America and also show a view of mental health issues and how some of them are related to status both social and economic There are tens of thousands of people in this country suffering from a mental illness or disorder Current data estimates that about 82 million or about 5 percent of the adult population suffer from mental and emotional problems that seriously interfered with the ability to work or attend school or to manage day-to-day activities Willis 1998 The younger population is also being diagnosed at an alarming rate with mental disorders such as depression and conduct disorders Americans with psychological disorders such as anxiety or mood disorders are increasing at an alarming rate Nationwide surveys suggest that between 16 and 22 million adults in the United States one of every eight now receive therapy for psychological problems in the course of a year Kessler et al 1994 This increase in diagnosis can be traced back to around 1950 Since the 1950s most health insurance companies changed or expanded their coverage to include mental health services Comer 19 92 This is just a glimpse of how inequality can be seen in the system of health care Lets take a look at how a person in America gets diagnosed with a disorder then we can then go into specific disorders to discuss
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