This article was written by Guest Blogger: Tracy Ruff
Bipolar disorder is one of the most debilitating mental illnesses that can severely impact one’s life. In terms of causes of disability, bipolar disorder is ranked in the top 10 in developed countries. At any one time, up to 51 million people worldwide have the disorder and its prevalence rate is approximately 1.1% of the global population.
While this figure may not seem like much when compared to other chronic illnesses (40% of the world’s population has hypertension, for example); it is imperative for the general public to understand just how serious the condition is. This is why on the 30 March various global initiatives will be celebrating World Bipolar Day to increase awareness and challenge the terrible stigma associated with the disorder.
Studies show that between 10% and 40% of women will be afflicted by postpartum depression. If one takes the lowest figure of 10%, there are at least 50 000 new cases of postpartum depression per year in South Africa alone. The real tragedy is that for many of these women, it is never even picked up, because despite the considerable number of cases, the condition generally remains undiagnosed and untreated.
Postpartum depression does not only affect the mother – it can affect the entire family – so it is time we all understood more about the illness to play our part in recognising and defeating this highly treatable and avoidable condition.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that each year approximately one million people die from suicide. This is a global mortality rate of 16 people per 100 000, or one death every 40 seconds. It is predicted that by 2020 the rate will increase to one death every 20 seconds.
In the last 45 years suicide rates have increased by 60% worldwide. Suicide is now among the three leading causes of death among men and women aged 15-44.
It is time we took this issue seriously and learnt more about the causes, the signs and signals to look out for and what can be done to prevent such tragedies.
Depression is the most common complaint of individuals seeking mental health care. By 2020 depression will be the 2nd most disabling health condition in the world (Lopez et al., 2006).
Alarming statistics perhaps and yet what is more alarming is that many people are not even aware that they are suffering from depression. They are not able to recognise the signs and symptoms of depression in themselves or others. This lack of knowledge is causing unnecessary suffering and it’s important that we change this state of ignorance and educate ourselves so that we can:
Bipolar disorder (which used to be known as bipolar affective disorder, manic-depressive disorder or manic depression) is a type of mental illness (specifically a mood disorder) characterized by episodes of an elevated or agitated mood known as mania that often alternates with episodes of depression.
The symptoms can be subtle and confusing. Many people with bipolar disorder are overlooked or misdiagnosed – resulting in unnecessary suffering. With proper treatment and support, however, an individual with bipolar disorder can lead a rich and fulfilling life. So what is bipolar disorder and what can we do about it?
Article as it appeared in Weigh-Less magazine. By Holly Barnes
In South Africa, almost one in 10 teen deaths is a result of suicide, an alarming statistic that you need to be aware of. We share the hidden myths, regrettable causes and eventual consequences of teen suicide – the darkness that surrounds many teenagers daily.
Article as it appeared in the Vrouekeur magazine. By Lize Maritz (Translated into English)
If your partner has been raped, it does not only change her (or his) life, it also changes yours.
Such a traumatic experience can impose great strain on a relationship, but it is possible to survive it as a couple and in fact come out of it positively. For this to happen, you need to support each other and have the support of family and friends.
Article as it appeared in Vrouekeur magazine. By Lize Maritz (Translated into English)
There are thousands of people suffering from depression and many do not receive treatment. Their partners, however, suffer too and even less is said or done for them. This article is for the partners of those who suffer from depression.
There are probably as many misconceptions, myths and stereotypes about mental disorders as there are mental disorders. Popular fiction and film often perpetuate these misconceptions, reinforcing the belief that those suffering from a mental disorder are 'crazy' and should be institutionalised. Gaining a deeper understanding of mental disorders and their causes can help us deal more effectively with affected loved ones or colleagues.
Grief and bereavement are possibly two of the most difficult and challenging certainties we will ever have to face. Unfortunately, they are also possibly the ones we know the least about. In our western culture, we often feel awkward around death and dying and just don't know what to do, or to say to a person who is bereaved and grieving.