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  • Writer's pictureFiona Murray

The Rise and Rise of Mental Health Diagnoses

Everybody goes through ups and downs in their mood over the course of their lives. Sometimes we are sad due to an external factor beyond our control such as the death of a beloved member of the family of a relationship which hasn’t worked out the way we hoped. Sometimes life is good and our mood is upbeat, maybe when we are on holiday or we just received good news. These swings in mood are normal but more and more people are experiencing their lives in ways which go beyond these normal ups and downs.

In 2019, 970 million people globally were living with a mental disorder, with anxiety and depression the most common. That’s a lot of people who are experiencing difficulties in all areas of life and globally, problems with mental health account for 1 in 6 years lived with disability.

So why is this and what can we do about it? We know that poverty, violence and existential threats such as climate change can become so overwhelming that people find it hard to cope and their brain responds by finding it hard to counteract the worry or low mood so that it persists even when the stressor is removed. However, getting help before this point can teach people coping strategies such as mindfulness, which increases their resilience, making it less likely that they will experience mental health challenges.

So, the message is reach out and do something, talk to someone or take a break from stress before it reaches the chronic state! Please don’t wait until the challenges reach crisis point! Everybody needs a helping hand at some point and just as with physical health early treatment leads to better outcomes !

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