The Dangers of Untreated Mental Illness


Millions of Americans experience the symptoms of mental illness every year. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) estimates that 43.8 million adults in the United States deal with a mental illness annually. Around 10 million people suffer from a mental illness that severely interferes with major life activities. Sadly, more than half of these mental illnesses go untreated, leaving adults and children unnecessarily suffering from symptoms.

The reasons people don’t seek treatment are vast. The stigma and shame around receiving treatment can keep people from getting help. Poverty or embarrassment can also keep someone from asking for help. It may be difficult to find a therapist you like. Many medications for depression, anxiety, and other mental illnesses have undesired side effects. Mental illnesses often isolate people and make it difficult to keep searching for solutions. Unfortunately, some people give up without finding the right combination of therapies.

Why You Should Seek Treatment for Mental Health Issues

An untreated mental illness can lead to more serious problems. Here are some of the risks that you face when you ignore a mental illness:

Worsening Mental Health Problems

Mental health issues do not get better on their own. The longer an illness persists, the more difficult it can be to treat and recover.

Chronic Pain

The mind copes with stress in different ways. Chronic mental illness can lead to aches, pains, and gastrointestinal distress that have no physical source. Over time, your aches and pains become detrimental to your physical health. You may develop serious physical injuries that make it even more difficult to deal with your mental illness.

Chronic Physical Health Issues

Dealing with a mental illness isn’t easy. If you neglect your mental health, it’s easy to neglect your physical health. Chronic stress has been linked to a higher risk of strokes, heart attacks, and obesity. While mental illness might be in your brain, it affects your entire body.

Instability in Your Daily Life

Mental illness can make it difficult to cope with everyday life. It can interfere with keeping a job and interacting with others. Severe depression makes it difficult to get out of bed, let alone get dressed and out of the house to work. Anxiety or PTSD can make communication difficult. If you can’t keep a job, you could lose your home. Financial issues make it even more challenging to treat mental illness and pull yourself out of your situation. NAMI estimates that about one-quarter of homeless adults in shelters have a serious mental illness.


To be clear, mental illness does not lead to violent behavior. Mental illness makes it difficult to conform in society, which can lead to inappropriate behavior or misconstrued actions. Almost three-quarters of female inmates and one-half of male inmates have a serious mental illness.


Untreated mental illness clouds your judgment, making you believe that there is no way out. Over 90 percent of suicides can be attributed to a mental illness that wasn’t treated.

Get Help Today

You don’t have to suffer from mental illness. Help is available. Contact High Focus Centers for more information about getting treatment and care. Take the first step toward recovery to have a better life.