World Mental Health Day: Important facts about mental illness

World Mental Health Day is celebrated on 10th October globally to create awareness on mental health issues. Mental health disorder is one of the common disorders across the globe. According to World Health Organisation (WHO), there are approximately 450 million people who suffer from mental disorders. In India, around 1.5 million people are affected from severe mental health problems including children and adolescents.

World Mental Health Day also marks the sufferings of the victims of mental disorders and the efforts put by several psychologists and the well-wishers who stood by the victims. Even in today’s modern society, mental illness is not taken as seriously as physical ailments. In many cases, they are frowned upon and neglected.

As per WHO, there are five primary challenges that need to be overcome to address mental health issues more efficiently. These are:

  • The absence of mental health from the public health agenda and the implications for funding
  • The current management of mental health services
  • Lack of integration within primary care
  • Inadequate human resources for mental health
  • Lack of public mental health leadership

Five crucial facts about mental disorders

  • About half of mental disorders begin before the age of 14.
  • Around 20 percent children and adolescents experience mental disorders.
  • War and social trauma have been the most common reasons behind mental illness.
  • Mental illness can increase the risk of getting affected by other diseases such as cardiac problems, diabetes and gastric issues.
  • In most cases of mental disorder, it is the family members of the victim who neglect the situation.

Five common mental disorders around the world

Anti-social disorder: People experiencing this disease are often seen overreacting to a particular situation with anger. They often behave in a way that is harmful to others.

Amnesia: This is a common phenomenon and a sign of brain damage where the victim experiences persistent loss of memory. The major factors leading up to this disease are overdose of sedatives and psychological trauma.

Asperger’s Syndrome: Signs of this disease involve difficulty and reluctance towards social interaction, verbal communication, physical clumsiness and repetitive pattern of behaviour. This is one of the most common mental disorders of the modern era.

Major depressive disorder: The term ‘depression’ has lost its value due to inappropriate use. The medical explanation of the term reveals that major depressive illness is a serious mental disorder that includes low self-esteem, reluctance towards enjoyable activities, high pessimism, avoiding social gatherings and morbid thoughts. This illness is perhaps the most underrated medical situation as it can often lead to suicidal tendencies, if not cured properly.

Obsessive-compulsive disorder: Obsessive-compulsive disorder or OCD is a mental disorder where the victim feels a constant need to check things right and do a particular chore repeatedly. Most common instances have been washing hands, counting things, taking shower, cleaning household and checking if the doors are locked. The illness is a kind of anxiety disorder that may lead to suicidal tendencies.

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