Mental Health and Illness
About 450 million people suffer from mental and behavioural disorders worldwide, reports the World Health Organisation. In many parts of the world socio economic conditions have a negative impact to mental health: poverty, illiteracy, war, violence discrimination on various aspects are all detrimental factors. Awareness that some behaviours and symptoms are signs of illnesses, is lacking. There is a stigma to voicing mental problems and seeking help.
Mental Illness covers a wide spectrum where the boundaries between “normal” and “abnormal” are not very sharply defined. Illnesses can be classified in different ways. Some broad categories are:
Organic, where there are structural/physiological abnormalities in the brain or nerves, leading to illness
Functional where there are no structural abnormalities identifiable
Neurosis - severe forms of normal experiences
Psychosis – severe distortion of perception of reality.
Illnesses are also grouped as:
Schizophrenia related disorders
Dementia and Memory Related Disorders
While it is difficult to define what is normal when a behaviour interferes with your ability to cope with life on a daily basis, then it is better to seek help.