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Lack of awareness causes mental illness in over 6% Indians

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New Delhi: Union Health Minister JP Nadda on Tuesday presented stats in Rajya Sabha mentioning that over six percent of Indian citizens had a mental illness like schizophrenia and bipolar disorders due to lack of awareness. The National Commission on Macroeconomics and Health had conducted an assessment back in 2005, which revealed that approximately 75 million people in India had mental disorders like stress, depression and anxiety.

“In 2005, the National Commission on Macroeconomics and Health reported that 10-20 million (1-2 percent of population) suffered from severe mental disorders such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder and nearly 50 million (5 percent of the population) from common mental disorders such as depression and anxiety, yielding an overall estimate of 6.5 percent of the population,” the Union Minister wrote to Rajya Sabha, according to a newspaper.

Though, the Union Minister mentioned that the data was examined in 2015, thus, a possibility of change in figures must be there due to changed lifestyle. He also gave the reasoning for the high ratio saying that the lack of awareness of symptoms of mental disorder is one of the biggest problems. The majority of the people suffering from mental disorders in India are unaware of them suffering from such illness.

There is a need to make people alert about such disorders and also treat patients suffering from it. Nadda mentioned that institutes and hospitals which treat such patients can be helpful. There are three centrally-run mental health institutes, 40 state-run medical hospitals and 398 departments of psychiatry in various medical colleges (183 in government and 215 in private) in rural and urban areas. Adding to the list, he also listed District Mental Health Programme (DMHP) (in 241 districts in all the 36 states/UTs) has been started by the government to treat mentally ill citizens. The DMHP offers help in school, workplace and also gives counselling on suicide prevention etc.

Moreover, common apprehensions of the illness are said to be emptiness or feeling sad or anxious, feeling hopeless or negative, irritability or restlessness, lack of interest in hobbies and other activities, loss of appetite and hallucinations in the case of schizophrenia. If one seems to have similar symptoms then there are chances one suffering from mental disorder and should consult a doctor.

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Gaming Disorder to be Recognized as an Health Issue Soon

WHO may soon recognize Gaming Disorder as a Mental Health condition due to its severe impact on a person's mental health.

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WHO may add gaming disorder as a mental health condition
WHO may add gaming disorder as a mental health condition. wikimedia common
  • WHO is ready to recognize Gaming Disorder as a serious mental health issue.
  • Gaming disorder means, giving utmost importance to video games while ignoring other aspects of life.
  • Countries like China and Korea have already banned internet and gaming due to their harmful effects.

The World Health Organization is set to recognize gaming disorder as a serious mental health issue.

In its 11th International Classification of Disease, a diagnostic manual to be published next year, the U.N. health agency defines gaming disorder as a “persistent or recurrent” disorder that can cause “significant impairment” to the gamer’s life, including to family, education, work and friends.

The addiction to gaming can lead to severe mental heath conditions. Pixabay
The addiction to gaming can lead to severe mental heath conditions. Pixabay

The agency says the disorder is characterized by giving increasing priority to gaming, online and offline, over other aspects of everyday life.

Gregory Hartl, a WHO spokesman, told CNN that the entry on the disorder “includes only a clinical description and not prevention and treatment options.”

According to a report released in 2016 by the gaming industry, 63 percent of U.S. households include a gamer who, on average, has been playing video games for 13 years.

The increasing popularity of video gaming became evident in the past three years when 50 U.S. colleges established varsity gaming teams, with scholarships, coaches and game analysts.

However, some countries, such as China and South Korea already consider the internet and gaming to be addictions and have created boot-camplike treatment facilities. VOA

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