Wednesday, December 31, 2008


The social stigma associated with mental disorders is a widespread problem. Some people believe those with serious mental illnesses cannot recover, or are to blame for problems. The US Surgeon General stated in 1999 that: "Powerful and pervasive, stigma prevents people from acknowledging their own mental health problems, much less disclosing them to others. Employment discrimination is reported to play a significant part in the high rate of unemployment among those with a diagnosis of mental illness.

Efforts are being undertaken worldwide to eliminate the stigma of mental illness their methods and outcomes have sometimes been criticized as counterproductive.

A study by Baylor University researchers found that clergy often deny or dismiss the existence of the mental illness. In a study published in Mental Health, Religion and Culture, researchers found that in a study of 293 Christian’s church members, more than 32 percent were told by their church pastor that they or their loved one did not really have a mental illness.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


Mental disorders have been found to be relatively common, with more than one in three people in most countries reporting sufficient criteria for at least one diagnosis at some point in their life up to the time they were assessed. A new WHO global survey currently underway indicates that anxiety disorders are the most common in all but 1 country, followed by mood disorders in all but 2 countries, while substance disorders and impulse-control disorders were consistently less prevalent. Rates varied by region. Such statistics are widely believed to be underestimates, due to poor diagnosis (especially in countries without affordable access to mental health services) and low reporting rates, in part because of the predominant use of self-report data rather than semi-structured instruments.[citation needed] Actual lifetime prevalence rates for mental disorders are estimated to be between 65% and 85%.[citation needed]

A review of anxiety disorder surveys in different countries found average lifetime prevalence estimates of 16.6%, with women having higher rates on average. A review of mood disorder surveys in different countries found lifetime rates of 6.7% for major depressive disorder (higher in some studies, and in women) and 0.8% for bipolar 1 disorder.

The updated US National Co morbidity Survey (NCS) reported that nearly half of Americans (46.4%) meet criteria at some point in their life for either an anxiety disorder (28.8%), mood disorder (20.8%), impulse-control disorder (24.8%) or substance use disorder (14.6%).

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Prognosis depends on the disorder, the individual and numerous related factors. Some disorders may be transient, while some may last a lifetime in some cases. Some disorders may be very limited in their functional effects, while others may involve substantial disability and support needs. The degree of ability or disability may vary across different life domains. Continued disability has been linked to institutionalization, discrimination and social exclusion as well as to the inherent properties of disorders.

Even those disorders often considered the most serious and intractable have varied courses. Long-term international studies of schizophrenia have found that over a half of individuals recover in terms of symptoms, and around a fifth to a third in terms of symptoms and functioning, with some requiring no medication. At the same time, many have serious difficulties and support needs for many years, although "late" recovery is still possible. The WHO concluded that the findings joined others in "relieving patients, careers and clinicians of the chronic paradigm which dominated thinking throughout much of the 20th century." Around half of people initially diagnosed with bipolar disorder achieve syndromal recovery (no longer meeting criteria for the diagnosis) within six weeks, and nearly all achieve it within two years, with nearly a half regaining their prior occupational and residential status in that period.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Child Mental Health

It's easy to know when your child has a fever. A child's mental health problem may be harder to identify, but you can learn to recognize the symptoms. Pay attention to excessive anger, fear, sadness or anxiety. Sudden changes in your child's behavior can tip you off to a problem. So can behaviors like exercising too much, or hurting or destroying things.

Some common mental health problems in children are

* Depression
* Anxiety
* Behavior disorders
* Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder

Mental health problems can disrupt daily life at home, at school or in the community. Without help, mental health problems can lead to school failure, alcohol or other drug abuse, family discord, violence or even suicide. However, help is available. Talk to your health care provider if you have concerns about your child's behavior.