The National Institute of Mental Health estimates that more than 13 percent of U.S. adults have received treatment for some kind of mental health problem.
Still, the most severe cases remain the hardest to treat and take the biggest toll not just on the family and friends of those afflicted but also on the country at large. The National Institute of Mental Health puts the economic cost of untreated mental illness in the U.S. at more than $100 billion per year.
Christine Montross, assistant professor of psychiatry at Brown University, is a practicing psychiatrist who focuses on the most severe cases. Her patients ingest knives, nails and light-bulbs, and suffer from, seizures and hallucinations and experience psychosis.
She’s the author of Falling into the Fire: A Psychiatrist’s Encounters with the Mind in Crisis.