On the Prevalence of Mental Illness

A young woman once asked Rabbi Dr. Avraham Twerski whether she should marry into a family where one of the siblings suffered from Bipolar Disorder. Rabbi Twerski replied: “At least you know what they’ve got in that family.”

Studies have shown that one in three people has experienced a common mental disorder—such as, clinical depression and anxiety—during their lives. Statistics Canada reports that no less than 1/5 of Canadians have experienced a common mental illness. (BPD strikes 2%-4% of the population and Schizophrenia 0.25%-0.64% )

Mental illness is a neurochemical or neurobiological disorder, just like Diabetes. There is no reason to be ashamed, even though many people are.