WORLD MENTAL HEALTH DAY
“World Mental Health Day” How many of you have heard of this? Start asking around and the figures will speak for itself. Mental health is given secondary importance when compared to diseases such as CANCER, AIDS etc. But a threat will always remain so and hence should be given equal importance.
“Nothing in the world is more dangerous than a sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”
Martin Luther King, Jr.
The 10th of October, every year, is observed as World Mental Health Day (WMHD) for the purpose of raising awareness about mental health issues. This day is not given the same stage as Cancer and slips by our conscience’sradar. The theme for this year’s WMHD set by the World Health Organization was “Investing in mental health”. Their research states that the financial and human resources allocated for mental health are inadequate especially in low resource countries. The majority of low- and middle-income countries spend less than 2% of their health budget on mental health.
Symptoms of mental health issues are often neglected because their symptoms are not as concrete as the symptoms you would see for physical illnesses. Nevertheless, mental health issues have become a matter of immediate concern today. Approximately 450 million people worldwide suffer from mental health problems. Statistics show, one in four families has at least one member with a mental health condition
The World Health Organization has reported that five of the ten leading causes of disability and premature death worldwide are related to mental health conditions. Schizophrenia was ranked among the top 10 causes of disability in developed countries worldwide. It’s a severe mental disorder whose symptoms include hallucinations, delusions, loss of ability to feel and express emotions, depression, anxiety, problems with learning and poor memory. While there is currently no cure for schizophrenia, most people improve with drug treatment in conjunction with other forms of help (e.g., psychotherapy).The failure to take medication as prescribed (poor compliance) is a major cause of relapse and readmission into hospital.
Another very serious mind disorder is the Bi-polar disorder. Bi-polar disorder is the sixth leading cause of handicap throughout the world. People with bi-polar disorder swing back and forth between severe depressive and euphoric episodes, often with periods of ‘normal’ feelings in between. Bi-polar disorder is most commonly treated with a combination of medication and psychotherapy.
Bipolar disorder is commonly mistaken for other diseases, such as depression, and it may take up to ten years before it is correctly diagnosed.
Bipolar disorder can appear to be unipolar depression, but it is not the same. Depression in scientific terms is the chronic mental condition and is called MDD (Major Depression Disorder). It is characterized by depressive moods, guilt, hopelessness, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, and insomnia, pain and appetite changes.MDD is a very common disorder within the general population. Major Depressive Disorder is twice as common in women as in men. Causes of MDD can be environmental, but also linked to abnormalities in brain chemistry and genetic history. The average patient’s spending on mental health treatment in the UAE exceeds AED 20,000 per annum.
By 2020, depression will become the second largest cause of disability worldwide, in that mental health conditions are strongly related to the occurrence of many chronic diseases including diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease, asthma, and obesity
Youth are most susceptible to developing mental health conditions but often don’t know where to seek help as they lack both guidance and accurate information. Roughly 24% of schoolchildren in the UAE have a mental health problem and more than half these children go untreated. Parents ignore the symptoms under the justification that “it’s just a phase” and “Children don’t have reasons to be depressed, they are just moody.” Don’t risk their lives at the cost of your ignorance.
A study in Kuwait found that 10% of university students were severely depressed and 14% moderately depressed. The UAE, Kuwait and Qatar all have a lower number of psychiatrists and psychologists per 100,000 people than the global average. But on a completely different and strange note, I was taken aback when I came across the fact that 50% of the population of Qatar believes that mental health conditions are a punishment from God. The facts that we are able to neglect it and blame it on factors we have no control over like “Fate” and “Bad-Luck” shows how ignorant we are. It is disturbing to see how society turns a deaf ear to mental health issues. Depression is not taken seriously. It’s a neglected problem as people are unaware about its symptoms and causes. If the above statistics didn’t shock you, let me sum up the whole article with this one… On average about 800,000 people commit suicide every year due to mental health disorders75% of which are men. If this still doesn’t have an impact on you in any way, you my friend, need help.
We have gathered some helpful content from around the web to better understand and treat mental illnesses such as Depression, Schizophrenia and Bi-polar Disorder