For the last few years, since I was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome (on the autism spectrum), I’ve become much more aware of mental, psychological, neurological, and emotional health issues. I’ve noticed the signs of depression in friends who I might have once thought were just“having a bad day”. I’ve spotted telltale indicators that someone else might, like me, be on the spectrum. I’ve come to look beyond the immediate to find the underlying causes—physiological or psychological—that alter people’s moods and behaviors. And in doing so, I’ve come to a simple conclusion: these abnormalities or aberrations are a lot more common than I realized! Here are some statistics from the World Health Organization:
- Depression affects 300 million people around the globe each year—women more than men
- Bipolar disorder affects roughly 60 million people
- Schizophrenia affects close to 23 million people
- Dementia affects close to 50 million people
- In low- and middle-income countries, 76 to 85% of people with mental disorders receive no treatment. That number only drops to 35 to 50% in high-income countries.