Mental health disorders affect nearly 1 billion people globally, according to WHO, that’s nearly 1 in every 8 people, worldwide. Realistically the figures are most likely far more significant than this due to the societal disapproval, discrimination and stigma of mental health conditions.
Of the categories of mental disorders, anxiety and depressive disorders are the most common, depression being one of the leading causes of disability. Other common mental health conditions include bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and eating disorders.
Depression alone is estimated to affect 1 in 3 women and 1 in 5 men, annually.
Mental health problems can have a wide range of causes. It’s likely that for many people there is a complicated combination of factors — although different people may be more deeply affected by certain things than others. For example, the following factors could potentially result in a period of poor mental health:
– Childhood abuse, trauma, or neglect
– Social isolation or loneliness
– Experiencing discrimination and stigma, including racism
– Social disadvantage, poverty or debt
– Bereavement (losing someone close to you)
– Severe or long-term stress
– Having a long-term physical health condition
– Unemployment or losing your job
– Homelessness or poor housing
– Being a long-term carer for someone
– Drug and alcohol misuse
– Domestic violence, bullying or other abuse as an adult
– Significant trauma as an adult, such as military combat, being involved in a serious incident in which you feared for your life, or being the victim of a violent crime
Although lifestyle factors including work, diet, drugs and lack of sleep can all affect your mental health, if you experience a mental health problem there are usually other factors as well.