Statistics about mental health problems are now becoming more increasingly alarming. The
key factors in the apparent rise in mental health cases have not yet been fully determined.
In fact, authorities may have released inaccurate figures since people tend to hide mental
illness or ignore them. This is also the reason why many mental health problems worsen.
Perhaps, the only good news to come out from this is that there are some common mental
health disorders and conditions among the statistics. According to the records of a number
of Washington-based psychiatric hospitals, there are four particularly common strands of
mental health problems that have been recorded.
Among all the common mental health disorders, depression is stated as being the most
common. Approximately 80% of the population has experienced clinical depression at one
point in their lives. In the early stages, this problem can be alleviated through
counseling. However, the problem lies in the fact that most people tend to see the early
stages of depression as just a negative mood swing. Since it is typically difficult for
most people to detect depression until it has taken full effect, the condition can often go
completely unnoticed. For some people, the physical and mental changes are gradual, which
only makes it harder to detect the problem.
Bipolar disorder, as compared with depression, is more difficult to detect. The condition
causes the person’s mood to swing, being manic one moment and depressed in the next. While
this usually fits the stereotype of people with this particular strain of mental health
illness, the reality is that there are periods where the person exhibits a relatively
normal mood. This period of normalcy between the high and low points is often enough for
casual observers to discount the possibility of a person having bi-polar disorder. Often,
casual observers and the patient himself will only note the frequency of the mood swings
and the possibility of a problem much later on. On occasion, a session of psychiatric
counseling mandated by company policy can detect the problem. However, not all companies
have such a system in place.
Approximately two million people are suffering from schizophrenia at any given time, which
should be a cause for alarm. The condition is often characterized by the patient hearing
“voices” in their head that no one else can hear, a typical trait of insane people. This
mental health condition has a number of sub-varieties and can effectively disable a
person’s ability to interact with others if left unattended or treated. Schizophrenia can
also sometimes cause other mental health disorders. While there are medications that have
been proven to alleviate the problem, there are still some cases where medication must be
complimented by counseling. Roughly 20% of people who develop the condition never fully
recover and times of great stress and anxiety can sometimes result in a relapse.
Arguably, Alzheimer’s Disease is among the most debilitating mental conditions known to
man. The increasing frequency of the condition has caused alarm since current medications
only help ease the symptoms and not really treat the condition. Usually diagnosed during
the latter years of a person, Alzheimer’s can take an immense toll on one’s life and
relationships. As a debilitating condition, it rapidly takes away the patient’s self-
confidence and ability to physically function in a normal way. In contrast to other mental
health problems, Alzheimer’s is relatively easy to detect if the person is properly
informed. However, as previously mentioned, the disease is difficult to treat with any
level of certainty. Counseling is known to have minimal effects even the mildest of cases.
There is still no psychoactive medication that has shown appreciable effects other than
“delaying the inevitable.”
As these mental health conditions eclipse the human mind, it has become more clear that
more work needs to be done in terms of research and drug development.