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Health Corners
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:

  • Mood disorders

  • Anxiety disorders.

  • Substance-related disorders.

  • Schizophrenia related disorders

  • Dementia and Memory Related Disorders

  • Developmental disorders

  • Personality 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.

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