The first week of October will be dedicated to a special event, namely Mental Illness Awareness Week. It will start on Sunday, and it is meant to educate people on conditions, symptoms, and how to deal with them, either as patients or caretakers. The event has been organized for more than two decades.
Authorities set the Mental Illness Awareness Week for October back in 1990. Ever since officials and members of non-profit organizations have been trying to raise awareness on these diseases. Their intention is not to seclude patients, but to make them feel good about themselves, and socialize and communicate with other people.
According to specialists, mental illnesses are quite delicate for several reasons. First of all, there is not a single cause leading to this condition, but rather a series of interconnected events. Secondly, these diseases affect both patients and their families, as they can be quite difficult to care about.
Depression and bipolar disorder are two of the most common mental illnesses. People who suffer from them, as well as other such conditions, tend to feel bad about themselves and have a bad state of mind. This situation has several consequences, especially regarding their social life. Studies show that mental illnesses prevent patients from leading a normal life and at least one of their regular activities.
Statistics reveal that more than forty-three million people in the United States are diagnosed with a mental illness every year. This makes one in five Americans a patient. However, only a small percent (forty-one) of the identified patients receive special treatment for their respective conditions.
Specialists explain that mental health problems can start developing quite early in people’s lives, namely after the age of 14. As symptoms are not visible markings, it can take people years to acknowledge their condition. There are also cases when patients are not aware of it, or they refuse to be aware. They also tend to hide it from family and friends, which delays administration of the treatment even more. There are rare cases when patients seek medical help on their own for their mental health problems.
Statistics from specialists also show that mental illnesses can drive patients to reckless acts, such as suicide. The phenomenon is common even with teenagers. Suicide is considered the second cause of death for young people aged 15 to 24 in the United States.
The purpose of the Mental Illness Awareness Week is to eradicate stigma about these diseases and to improve life quality of the patients. Would you like to be an active part of such an event?
Image courtesy of: Mhahouston