We promote evidence-based policies, strategies and interventions that reduce the burden associated with alcohol, drugs and addictive behaviors. Provides normative guidance and technical assistance on the prevention and treatment of disorders due to substance use and addictive behaviors, and collates and disseminates relevant global data to inform policy and programme development.
Increased investment is required on all fronts: for mental health awareness to increase understanding and reduce stigma; for efforts to increase access to quality mental health care and effective treatments; and for research to identify new treatments and improve existing treatments for all mental disorders.
Despite progress in some countries, people with mental health conditions often experience severe human rights violations, discrimination, and stigma.
Researchers discovered variations in four genetic regions and they looked at the DNA of people who have mental illnesses. Some mental disorders affect how calcium moves through the brain, which could lead to creating treatments for these disorders. Genetic testing can be used to predict or diagnose mental disorders.
Genetics are passed down during reproduction, specifically when the egg and the sperm meet and form a zygote. An embryo is created, and it will receive DNA from both parents, which help define the characteristics and traits of the child.
Genetic factors include epigenetic regulation, how a person reacts to an environmental factor. Epigenetic study of heritable changes in gene expression (active versus inactive genes).Epigenetic's helps determine if a mental disorder will develop. Another cause of mental disorders are genetic polymorphisms, when a change in our DNA occurs. When a change in a certain polymorphism and an environmental factor can lead to a mental disorder. Factors that can cause mental disorders that are related to genetics are chemical imbalances in the brain.
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The development and implementation of well-defined mental health policies and plans are critical to good governance and leadership for mental health. These contribute to improving the organization, accessibility, and quality of service delivery, and fostering engagement with stakeholders, including people with lived experience, their care givers, and the community at large.
Government leadership, setting clear targets and areas for action, allocating sufficient resources, an evidence-based approach, and a commitment to human rights, health equity, and reaching the un-reached will be key. There is a clear connection between mental health and academic performance. Helping students make the most of their education is everyone's goal. Students struggling with depression or other mental illnesses have a challenging time feeling motivated, learning, concentrating, taking tests, etc.
Mental health promotion involves actions that improve psychological well-being. This may involve creating an environment that supports mental health. An environment that respects and protects basic civil, political, socioeconomic and cultural rights is fundamental to mental health.
People with bipolar disorder are more likely to experience problems with the use of alcohol or other drugs but the drugs do not cause the disorder. People with bipolar disorder may use alcohol or street drugs to make themselves feel better (self-medicate) or as an escape from their problems. Bipolar disorder is a treatable brain disorder.
Trauma is an emotional response to a terrible event like an accident, rape or natural disaster. Immediately after the event, shock and denial are typical. Longer term reactions include unpredictable emotions, flashbacks, and even physical symptoms. Trauma is divided into three main types: acute, chronic, and complex.
Anxiety disorders affect nearly 1 in 5 adults each year. People with these disorders have feelings of fear and uncertainty that interfere with everyday activities and last for 6 months or more. Anxiety disorders can also raise your risk for other medical problems such as heart disease, diabetes, substance abuse, and depression.
We recognize insomnia as a risk factor for major depressive disorder. In fact, people with insomnia are twice as likely to develop depression as people who don’t have sleep disorders. There has been a great deal of study on post-traumatic stress disorder and how it affects sleep patterns. But medications alone are not always the answer.
The main difference between PTSD and the experience of trauma is important to note. A traumatic event is time-based, while PTSD is a longer-term condition where one continues to have flashbacks and re-experiencing the traumatic event. Getting effective treatment after PTSD symptoms develop can be critical to reduce symptoms.
A “psychotic disorder” is an umbrella term to describe multiple types of mental health conditions. Psychosis itself is characterized by an impaired relationship with reality, often including confusion, and delusions. It’s important to note that psychosis is not present in all mental health disorders, and the symptoms vary greatly by individual.
This report has been drafted under the responsibility of the WHO Secretariat, Department of
Essential Medicines and Health Products, Team of Innovation, Access and Use. The report is
an update and extension of the pre-review on cannabidiol, that was prepared by Prof Jason White, Adelaide, Australia, for the 39th ECDD meeting in November 2017.
Mental, neurological and substance use disorders are highly prevalent and burdensome globally. The gap between what is urgently needed and what is available to reduce the burden is still very wide. Mental and neurological disorders in the elderly, such as Alzheimer’s disease, other dementia, and depression, contribute significantly to the burden of noncommunicable diseases. In the Americas, the prevalence of dementia in the elderly (aged >60 years) ranges from 6.46% to 8.48%. Projections indicate that the number of people with dementia will double every 20 years.
Among adults with severe and moderate affective, anxiety, and substance use disorders, the median treatment gap is 73.5% for the Region of the Americas, 47.2% for North America, and 77.9% for Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). The treatment gap in LAC is 56.9% for schizophrenia, 73.9% for depression, and 85.1% for alcohol.
Mental disorders and psychoactive substance-related disorders are highly
prevalent throughout the world and are major contributors to morbidity, disability, and premature mortality.