We Bet You Didn’t Know Mental Health Issues Are This Common
Contrary to belief, people still hardly ever talk about mental health issues openly. It is still seen as something that you need to feel ashamed of, and it’s quite rare for someone to admit suffering from a mental condition. This creates the illusion in a society that mental health problems are abnormal and uncommon. Nothing could be further from the truth, and there are a range of mental issues that are a lot more common than most people realise.
For instance, OCD affects around 1 in 50 people which is roughly 2 percent of the world population. While something like ASD impacts the lives of 1 in 100 people around the world, and it does seem to be more common in the developed world. As for depression that affects 3 in 100 people and anxiety is believed to be as common as 4 in 100. Now, on first inspection, those numbers may still seem pretty small. But you have to remember that you’re talking about hundreds of millions of people and we haven’t even covered all the mental health conditions.
One of the biggest issues with mental health is that people don’t really understand it. For instance, there are many people that think a mental health issue is always something that you’re born with and that’s just not true. Other people think mental health issues develop in individuals who have gone through severely unsettling situations. And again, this may not be the case. In fact, mental health issues can develop for a wide variety of reasons. And since they are so common, you could develop them yourself. You might even be experiencing an undiagnosed mental health condition right now. Let’s look at a few of the more common conditions and see how easily they could develop.
What Is OCD?
OCD stands for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Although that C could stand for control and it would still fit the disorder quite well because that’s what it’s all about. People who suffer from OCD are desperate to regain some sort of control in their life. For this reason, OCD often develops when people feel that their control has been taken away from them.
For instance, people who have suffered extended periods of emotional and manipulative abuse may develop OCD. They know that the control from part of their life has been removed, so they try to rectify this by controlling how often they flick a switch in a room or how clean a room needs to be. Now, there are a few things to realise about OCD.
First, while this is one of the causes of the condition the exact cause isn’t always known. Second, a lot of people have OCD tendencies without actually suffering from the condition. For instance, you may like all the labels in the fridge pointing out, and this doesn’t necessarily mean you’re suffering from OCD. Finally, many people are completely unaware of the reason behind their OCD behaviour and may not even recognise it as something abnormal.
If left undiagnosed OCD can get progressively worse as the patient starts to form irrational reasons for their compulsive behaviours.
ASD is an interesting one because many people hate the idea of it being classed as a mental disorder. Instead, Autism Spectrum Disorder is commonly referred to as a condition. People who have ASD tend to have issues with socialising and communication and social imagination. Commonly, this is referred to as the triad of impairments. Since ASD is a spectrum, it does depend on where you fall on it. Usually, people only receive a diagnosis if the condition is so severe that they can’t function effectively in their life.
This leads to many people being passed over for a diagnosis and then seeking one out at a later stage in life. Commonly, to explain things that other people have found abnormal about their behaviour. These individuals are often at the high-functioning end of the spectrum meaning that they can function in society. They often go on to live full lives with typical careers, romantic partners and children.
Like OCD, you can have autistic traits in your personality without actually suffering from the condition. For instance, one of the traits of autism is a fixed interest in an activity, hobby or subject. However, to receive a diagnosis of autism you have to match a fair few other symptoms.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is a heavily misinterpreted condition. There are many people who think that PTSD is always to do with soldiers who have returned from war and this isn’t the case. While it is true that PTSD can be caused be the atrocities soldiers experience at war, it’s certainly not the only cause. PTSD can be triggered by any traumatic experience, and you might be surprised by the type of events linked to this condition.
For instance, you can develop PTSD if you have been bullied and researchers have been keen to point out that this is one of the most common long-term effects of bullying. Usually, people with PTSD who have been bullied suffer from flashbacks. What is a flashback? It’s a memory or recollection triggered by an event or surrounding. It can even be caused by a word linked in a mind to a certain situation. Again, there are plenty of people living with PTSD right now due to bullying with only the occasional flashback as a symptom. But it could still affect their life.
Other causes of PTSD might be physical or sexual abuse. People who have experienced this may relive the experience through flashbacks intermittently through their life if they don’t receive treatment. That’s why it’s crucial you get psychological treatment after any traumatic experience.
Finally, it’s worth thinking about depression. Clinical depression can be more likely if your parents suffered from the condition. However, it can also be caused by nurture rather than nature. People in difficult, stressful life situations may develop depression. For instance, it’s quite common for people who are unemployed to feel depressed because their life feels empty. There are plenty of people who live with depressive tendencies, but this is dangerous. It’s another condition that can get progressively worse and patients can begin to develop suicidal thoughts.
Depression is diagnosed in people who feel sad for a few weeks or months rather than just a few days. Everyone has their good and bad days, but it does depend on the intensity of the feelings, how they impact your life and how long they last.