A common statistic quoted by almost every expert is that people with mental illness will die, on average, 25 years younger than someone without mental illness. Some mental health advocates even misquote the study completely and say, “People with mental illness die 25 years sooner,” leaving out “on average.”

When I first heard this, as a person living with bipolar and anxiety disorders, I felt helpless. The average lifespan for a male in the United States is 76 years. The thought...
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