PMS & PMDD have a very real impact on women in both developed and developing nations, potentially interfering with all aspects of life including work and family responsibilities and overall life fulfillment.
San Francisco, CA (PRWEB) October 11, 2011
Today, October 11th 2011, is annual World Mental Health Day, a day dedicated by the World Health Organization to creating increased awareness of mental health and mental disorders, with a special focus on the gap in diagnosis and treatment in low resource countries.
The theme of this year’s event is "Investing in Mental Health," calling attention to the need for greater resources dedicated to prevention and treatment of mental health, neurological, and substance abuse problems. According to WHO, most low and middle-income countries spend less than 2% of health budgets on mental health issues, and many have less than one mental health specialist practitioner for every million persons. Even then, the WHO points out, an outsize share of that mental health expenditure is on large mental hospitals rather than for community and primary health care based services.
In the developed world where there is relatively greater awareness of mental health issues, and easier access to psychiatric and psychological professionals and psychopharmacological treatments, as well as to substance abuse treatment facilities, it may be difficult to comprehend the mental health difficulties faced in poorer countries. Also, public health campaigns, and advertising campaigns by pharmaceutical manufacturers, have helped to destigmatize depression and other mental health problems among the public, while raising awareness by doctors and health professionals of these conditions and the available treatments.
Among the facts about worldwide mental health that WHO is highlighting today:
- Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide;
- 33% of countries have no mental health budget;
- 80% of people with mental disorders in developing countries receive no treatment;
- Nearly 50% of all mental disorders begin before the age of 14;
- 2.5 million annual deaths are attributed to alcohol abuse.
While severe PMS and PMDD may seem less serious than such weighty public policy matters, they have a very real impact on women in both developed and developing nations, potentially interfering with all aspects of life including work and family responsibilities and overall life fulfillment. (Social Science and Medicine, 2009, Weisz; Transactions of the Royal Society of Medicine and Hygiene, 1987, Cénac) Furthermore, these conditions are under-recognized and under-diagnosed by medical practitioners, and still carry much of the stigma associated with many mental health conditions.
Dr. Daniel Heller is the founder and chief medical officer of PMS Comfort, a women’s health organization dedicated to educating, informing, and empowering women on the subject of PMS and PMDD, as well as to providing natural alternatives for the relief of premenstrual symptoms.