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Mental health disorder increasing

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15th-Feb-2018       
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Life Desk  :
"More than 30 percent people in Bangladesh are found mentally ill (Study 2016). Of them about 16 percent are adult and 18 percent are children", said Prof Dr Harunur Rashid, a leading psychiatrist of the country while exchanging views with the daily New Nation (NN) recently. This eminent mental health expert replied to some queries and vividly explained the mental health situation of the country. His answers covered the wider aspects of the mental health disorder situation in Bangladesh, its treatment facilities, constraints, challenges and remedial measures.
The excerpts of the conversation with Dr Harunur Rashid are produced here bellow for the valued readers of the daily New Nation.
NN: First of all, would you please brief us about the ratio of people mentally ill in Bangladesh?
Dr Rashid: In Bangladesh about 16 percent adult and 18 percent child are mentally ill. (Old data) According to recent data, a community survey found about 30 percent populations is found mentally ill (2016).
NN: Now tell us why the cases of mental illness are increasing alarmingly in Bangladesh?
Dr Rashid: The main cause of mental illness is considered to be the huge abuse of substance. Substances can produce different types of mental illness like depressive disorder, bipolar mood disorder, psychotic disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, anxiety disorder, sexual dysfunction, sleep disorder, dementia and delirium etc.
The substance induced other causes are excessive financial pressure, unemployment, excessive Internet misuse, lack of morality and frustration.
NN: Now please brief us about the common mental illnesses prevailing in Bangladesh?
Dr Rashid: The common mental illnesses prevailing in our country are anxiety disorder, depressive disorder, OCD, sleep disorder, sexual dysfunction, acute stress disorder, adjustment disorder, conversion disorder (hysteria). Somatoform disorder is more common. Less common disorders are schizophrenia, bipolar mood disorder etc. Substance related disorders are increasing day by day.
NN: How would you describe the symptoms of depression in Bangladesh?
Dr Rashid: The symptoms of depressive disorders include depressed mood of the day, lack of enjoyment in daily activities, insomnia or sleep disturbance, fatigue or excessive tiredness, psychomotor retardation or reduced activity, weight loss or weight gain within short time, recurrent thoughts of death or suicidal ideations/attempt and diminished ability to concentration.  
NN: What are the causes of depressive disorder?
Dr Rashid: Causes of depressive disorder are still exactly unknown. Among them, genetic and environmental causes are more vital. After stressful environment for prolong time, the social isolation, social deprivation, poverty etc. are considered as important causes in this regard. Besides, brain deformity may be found in depressive disorder and Neurotransmitter: serotonin level is found below inside brain in depressive disorder.
NN: Now please give us idea about common anti-depressant?
Dr Rashid: At first we need proper diagnosis by a psychiatrist. Then we can start taking medicine such as anti-depressant, benzodiazepine etc. The common anti-depressants are: TCA (nortryptylline, amitryptylline, imipramine, clomipramine etc.), SSRI (selective serotonin receptor inhibitors). These drugs increase brain serotonin level. Others include SNRI (selective noradrenalin reuptake inhibitions).
NN: What can be the psychological management of depression?
Dr Rashid: Psychological management of depressions are CBT (cognitive behavior therapy), Family therapy, marital therapy, relaxation technique (meditation), reduces malpractice by quake, pir-fokir etc., First of all, we have to increase awareness about mental illness by media, teachers, politician, other professionals may give proper primary knowledge to mass people, facilitate mental health supportive treatment up to primary level, ensure hospital admission facilities, ensure proper number of mental health professional to remote area. 

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