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Chartbook on Mental Health and Disability

Section 2: Characteristics of disability in adult life

Mental disorders can be disabling. For many adults with these disorders, the result is limitation in the ability to carry out regular day-to-day activities. For adults, an important daily activity is work. The employment rate for people with mental illness is much lower than the national employment rate, and is especially low for people with more serious disorders.

Topic Questions:

2.1. For adults, how does mental illness rank as a cause of activity limitation compared to other conditions?

2.2. Do rates of psychiatric disorder differ for women and men?

2.3. Are there gender differences in limitations due to serious mental illness?

2.4. To what extent are people with mental illness employed?

2.5. Has labor force participation by people with mental illness changed over time?

2.6. To what extent does depression limit ability to work or carry out normal activities?

2.7. What are the conditions and symptoms of adults 65 years and older with mental disability?

2.8. To what extent do people 65 years and older with a mental disability have physical and communication disabilities?