Mental Health Issues on the Rise
Mental health is the emotional, psychological and social well-being of an individual. It is a major determinant of how people cope with stress and their relationships.
But it is one of the most neglected areas of global health. This is partly because of stigma, but also because of a lack of preventative services and lagging policy changes.
Depression is a serious, chronic condition that can affect all areas of a person’s life. It can make it difficult to get out of bed, think clearly, or enjoy normal activities.
Studies have shown that depression is increasing worldwide, particularly in less developed countries. In these places, depression often remains undiagnosed and untreated, with fewer people seeking help.
Anxiety is a common mental health problem that can be treated with psychotherapy, medication, and lifestyle changes. Symptoms include worries that may not be rational, excessive tension or a physical reaction such as increased blood pressure or sweating.
Anxiety is on the rise in the United States, and it has been increasing in every age group, race/ethnicity, gender and income subgroup. It has been especially strong among young adults and those with no college education.
Bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive illness, affects nearly 5.7 million people in the United States. It is characterized by extreme shifts between manic and depressive emotional states, with each episode lasting from several days to weeks.
According to a recent study, the number of office-based visits with a diagnosis of bipolar disorder has increased dramatically among youth, whereas the increase in adults is less impressive. There are likely several reasons for the increasing number of visits.
People with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) have excessive thoughts and feelings that they cannot control, and compulsive behaviours. Obsessions can include things like contamination, hygiene, hoarding and rituals.
Compulsions are repetitive actions or mental acts that a person feels they have to do, even if it makes no sense or isn’t realistically connected to the obsession. These ‘compulsions’ usually start as ways to prevent or reduce the anxiety caused by an obsession, but they soon become more of a problem and interfere with daily life.
As well as disrupting everyday life, people with OCD can find themselves suffering severe anxiety and depression. It is important to seek help as early as possible so the disruptions can be lessened.
Schizophrenia is a mental illness that affects how you think, feel and behave. It can cause problems with your social life, work and family relationships.
Symptoms include hallucinations, disorganized thinking and speech, delusions and unusual physical behavior. For example, you may hear voices that comment on your behavior or give commands.
Genetics, brain chemistry and birth circumstances play a role in schizophrenia. Having certain health conditions, such as gestational diabetes, preeclampsia or malnutrition during pregnancy can increase your chances of getting the disorder.
Trauma is a mental health issue that affects many people. It can be caused by an injury, death, illness, or a natural disaster like an earthquake.
A traumatic event can lead to long-term psychological symptoms, such as depression and anxiety. It can also trigger physical ailments, including chronic fatigue or headaches.
In addition, trauma can be a risk factor for PTSD. Symptoms include flashbacks, nightmares, avoidance of situations or people that remind you of the trauma.