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The Epidemiology and Impact of Mental Disorders* 

The Epidemiology and Impact of Mental Disorders*
Chapter:
The Epidemiology and Impact of Mental Disorders*
Author(s):

Ronald C. Kessler

, Jordi Alonso

, Somnath Chatterji

, and Yanling He

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199920181.003.0005
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date: 21 September 2019

This chapter reviews the literature on the worldwide epidemiology and adverse effects of mental disorders. The review shows clearly that mental disorders are among the most burdensome health problems in the population and that this is true because of the conjunction of four critical characteristics of these disorders: that even though some mental disorders are uncommon, prevalence of having any mental disorders is quite high; that many mental disorders begin at an early age; that these disorders are often quite persistent throughout the life course; and that mental disorders often have quite substantial adverse effects on a wide range of functional outcomes. The most recent epidemiological data on each of these four points is presented and discussed in the chapter.

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