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Mental health disorders affect people from around the world, regardless of economic status, age, ethnicity, gender or social class. People experiences different types of mental health problems that can affect thinking, mood, and behavior. Since we associate social stigma with mental health, mostly people don't discuss about this condition and lack of awareness leads to more complexity. Here we enlist some less known facts about mental health.
Women have poor Mental health than Men
Depression, anxiety, psychological distress, sexual violence, domestic violence and escalating rates of substance use affect women to a greater extent than men across different countries and different settings. Pressures created by their multiple roles, gender discrimination and associated factors of poverty, hunger, malnutrition, overwork, domestic violence and sexual abuse, combine to account for women's poor mental health. Also women go through many biological changes across their lifespan, more so than men, which contributes to fragile mental health.
It's not men who top in Binge eating
Binge eating disorder is a life-threatening, but treatable eating disorder characterized by recurrent episodes of eating large quantities of food . Statistics show that women are twice as likely to have Binge Eating Disorder than men. Scientist have found that hormones may have a direct correlation with a woman’s inclination to binge eat, particularly with estrogen levels. Having irregular cycles is also correlated with binge eating.
Poor mental health Linked to Risk for Pregnancy Complications
Women with psychotic disorders are at an increased risk of obstetrics and psychiatric complications. Scientists at the University of Wisconsin have found that women who had mental health problems before pregnancy were 40 percent more likely to have any pregnancy complication and nearly two times more likely to have a low birth weight baby, after adjusting for other factors. The researchers also found evidence that poor mental health before pregnancy may also be a risk factor for having a miscarriage or stillbirth.
12–16% of women experience postpartum depression
Existing estimates indicate that approximately 12–16% of women experience postpartum depression (PPD). Depression and anxiety of postpartum onset can be either acute or chronic. There are three common forms of postpartum affective illness: the blues (baby blues, maternity blues), postpartum (or postnatal) depression and puerperal (postpartum or postnatal) psychosis. Untreated postpartum depression can have adverse long-term effects. For the mother, the episode can be the precursor of chronic recurrent depression.
More women are affected by Posttraumatic stress disorder
Posttraumatic stress disorder is a serious potentially debilitating condition that can occur in people who have experienced or witnessed a natural disaster, serious accident, terrorist incident, sudden death of a loved one. More women are affected by PTSD due to the amount of exposure to sexual violence. For women, the risk of developing post-traumatic stress disorder after a traumatic event stands at 20.4% compared with 8.1% for men.
Around 20% of the world's children and adolescents have mental disorder
Mental disorder is not an old age problem, but its onset is seen in kids as small as five year old. As per WHO about half of mental disorders begin before the age of 14. The most common childhood mental disorders are anxiety disorders, depression, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Rates of depression and anxiety among teenagers have increased by 70 per cent in the past 25 years. The number of children and young people turning up with a mental health condition has more than doubled since 2009.
Depression kills more Men than Women
Depression is always seen as women's disease, but truth is more men commit suicide following depression than women. Depression is often more difficult to diagnose in men as many a times symptoms are not visible or they are linked to physical pain or addictions.
Infection in Brain could be the cause of Emotional disturbances
Infections that affects the brain can cause emotional disturbances that mimic psychiatric conditions. Several organisms including Borna disease virus, varicella zoster, the virus that causes chickenpox and shingles are now linked to mental illness. In humans acute infection with toxoplasmosis gondii can cause brain lesions, changes in personality and symptoms of psychosis including delusions and auditory hallucinations.
Mental Health is dependent on Gut Health
Gut health has been linked to neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders. Disturbances in gut health have been implicated in multiple sclerosis, autistic spectrum disorders, and Parkinson’s disease. Even age-related gut changes have a say in Alzheimer’s disease. Cell damage in the gut signals the beginning of Parkinson's disease, and cell death in the brain come only at late stage of disease.
Mental Health Apps: Double edged sword
Over last couple of years numerous mental health apps have been developed and made available to smart phone users. These apps claims to improve mental health and well-being, ranging from guiding mental illness recovery to encouraging beneficial habits that improve emotional health. But most of these apps are clinically unproven and potentially ineffective. In research published in the journal Evidence Based Mental Health, a team at the University of Liverpool found that many mental health apps and online programs lack "an underlying evidence base, a lack of scientific credibility and limited clinical effectiveness". According to this study reliance on apps can be a double-edged sword.