At some point in their lives, about half of all Americans will to some degree develop a disorder of anxiety, mood, impulse control or substance (abuse or dependency). Sufferers also hesitate in seeking treatment but get help more often now than 10 years ago. The conclusions come from a national survey of 9,282 households.

Percent who will develop a mental disorder during their lives: 46.4

Percent who will develop two: 27.7

Median age of onset for disorders of:

Anxiety: 11

Mood: 30

Impulse control: 11

Substance: 20

Years before treatment is sought for disorders of:

Anxiety: 9 to 23

Mood: 6 to 8

Impulse control: 4 to 13

Substance: 5 to 9

Most prevalent ailments and percent affected at some point in their lives:

Major depressive disorder: 16.6

Alcohol abuse: 13.2

Specific phobia (fear of object or situation): 12.5

Social phobia: 12.1

SOURCE: Archives of General Psychiatry, June 6