The Shocking Truth: Severe Mental Illness & Life Expectancy


“… one group suffers by far the most- with an average of 20 years of reduced life, in the ballpark of the life expectancy in Rwanda or Afghanistan.”

Originally posted on An Uneasy Awakening: Bipolar Musings:

Image courtesy of dream designs at

Image courtesy of dream designs at

Allen Francis, Emeritus Professor at Duke University has just published an excellent blog entitled ‘Having a Severe Mental Illness Means Dying Young’ in the Huffington Post.

Prof. Francis, who rather refreshingly pulls no punches throughout his article, writes this as his opening paragraph:

People diagnosed with serious mental illness — schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or severe depression — die 20 years early, on average, because of a combination of lousy medical care, smoking, lack of exercise, complications of medication, suicide, and accidents.

He goes on to say:

They (people diagnosed with a serious mental illness) are the most discriminated-against and neglected group in the U.S., which has become probably the worst place in the developed world to be mentally ill.

Prof. Francis includes an insightful piece in his blog by  Dr. Peter Weiden, Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Illinois College of Medicine…

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