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World Mental Health Day 2022: The Two Most Common Mental Disorders Affecting People Today Are…

They have a significant adverse effect on health and well-being. Like many other mental health illnesses, anxiety disorders can make it difficult to fall asleep. They have a significant adverse effect on health and well-being. Like many other mental health illnesses, anxiety disorders can make it difficult to fall asleep.

There has been a surge in the number of people living with mental disorders due to COVID-19 pandemic. On World Mental Health Day, let's talk about two most common mental disorders.

Written by Longjam Dineshwori |Updated : October 10, 2022 12:34 PM IST

Mental health is a determining factor of your overall health and wellness. Sadly, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a significant increase in the prevalence rate of mental illness worldwide, with millions of people reported to be suffering from mental health conditions or mental disorders today. Yet, mental health is not given much attention like other common health problems such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease. On World Mental Health Day 2022, let's take a look back at the most common mental disorders.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), globally, around 970 million people (1 in every 8 people) were living with a mental disorder in 2019. This number rose significantly after the COVID-19 pandemic.

The two most common mental disorders

As per WHO fact sheet, anxiety and depressive disorders were the most common mental disorders worldwide in 2019, with 301 million people suffering from an anxiety disorder and 280 million people with depression. While anxiety disorders affected 58 million children and adolescents, there were 23 million children and adolescents living with depression in 2019.

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The following year, the number of people living with these mental conditions rose significantly due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The organization reported an increase of 26 per cent and 28 per cent in the number of people living with anxiety and major depressive disorders respectively in just one year.

Understand anxiety disorders and depression

Anxiety disorders are described as feelings of excessive fear or worry that could interfere with your daily activities. Several types of anxiety disorders are known to exist, such as generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, and separation anxiety disorder.

We all experience mood fluctuations from time to time, but depression is different from the usual short-lived emotional responses. A person with depressive disorders may feel sad, irritable, empty as well as experience a loss of pleasure or interest in activities "for most of the day, nearly every day, for at least two weeks," the WHO said.

Other symptoms associated with depression include poor concentration, feelings of excessive guilt or low self-worth, hopelessness, suicidal thoughts, disrupted sleep, changes in appetite or weight, and tiredness or low in energy.

The other most common mental disorders include:

Bipolar Disorder: About 40 million people were living with bipolar disorder in 2019. This mental health condition is characterized with alternating depressive episodes with periods of manic symptoms (such as euphoria or irritability, increase in activity or energy, talkativeness, self-esteem, racing thoughts, decreased need for sleep, distractibility, and impulsive reckless behavior).

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): This mental disorder is most prevalent in conflict-affected settings and "may develop following exposure to an extremely threatening or horrific event or series of events," as stated by the WHO.

Schizophrenia, Eating Disorders, Disruptive behaviour and dissocial disorders, Neurodevelopmental disorders, are other common mental disorders.

Challenges in prevention and treatment of mental disorders

In its fact sheet on mental disorders, the WHO also the challenges facing the world in the prevention and treatment of mental disorders. It stated, "While effective prevention and treatment options exist, most people with mental disorders do not have access to effective care."

Further, the UN health agency said that many people living with mental health disorders experience stigma, discrimination and violations of human rights.

The WHO observes World Mental Health Day on 10 October every year with an objective to raise awareness about mental health issues around the world and to mobilize efforts to protect and improve mental health. This year, the organization is launched a campaign around the theme "Make Mental Health & Well-Being For All A Global Priority."

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