Many severe mental health conditions can occur amongst adults, which may further complicate an already difficult period of life. Mental health conditions such as bipolar and schizophrenia, among others, may be diagnosed around this time. Other common issues that adults are often vulnerable to include substance abuse, eating disorders, depression, and anxiety.
A report of the 2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) found that the onset of most mental health issues occurs in adulthood, and adults were identified experiencing concerns such as problematic psychological distress, major depressive episodes, and alcohol or substance abuse problems.
As adults enter new academic settings, new social circles, or new workplace environments, beliefs and values held throughout childhood may be questioned by others from different backgrounds or challenged by new ideas. Arnett's research shows that many young adults have identified the act of deciding on their own beliefs and values as an essential part of becoming an adult. This aspect of young adulthood may conflict with identity, or what was believed to be one's identity, and stir feelings that could contribute to mental health issues like anxiety or depression.
Young adults also have a high risk of suicide. According to the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, suicide is the third leading cause of death in Americans between the ages of 15 and 24. Some prominent risk factors for young adult suicide include:
History of previous suicide attempts
Family history of suicide
History of depression
History of other mental health issues
Alcohol or substance abuse
Stressful life events