Leading to an increased risk of Suicide
Suicide prevention Day –September 10th
Almost seven percent of South African people age 20 or older have a personality disorder, an umbrella term for several personality types characterized by chronic social dysfunction, a large study funded by NIMH and others reveals. However, less than one-fifth of the people with a disorder received mental-health treatment in the year before the study.
More than one-third of those with a personality disorder also had a substance abuse disorder or an anxiety, mood or impulse-control disorder.
Results were published online ahead of print on September 3, 2008 in Psychopathology, by S. Suliman, M.A., D.J. Stein, Ph.D., and S. Seedat, Ph.D., of the Universities of Stellenbosch and Cape Town, and D. R. Williams, Ph.D., of the Harvard School of Public Health. Said Prof Stein of UCT one of the Researchers “ There is a high unmet need in the area of mental health, despite the effectiveness and cost effectiveness of mental health treatment. There is a huge need to improve screening for common mental disorders to decrease stigmatization and to improve mental health literacy.”
Symptoms of personality disorder often are extreme enough to be disabling because they may severely disrupt personal and professional relationships and, thus, home and work life. Some patients may have eccentric behaviors that include paranoia, while others display dramatic, emotional behaviors that include self-centered, antisocial, or other traits. Still others have anxious, fearful behaviors, including obsessions, compulsions, avoidance, or dependence.
The rate of personality disorder found in this study is lower than the nine percent rate found in the U.S. in other studies,1 but is similar to that in other low- to middle-income countries.
Data for the research came from the South African Stress and Health study, which was carried out in conjunction with the World Health Organization World Mental Health Survey Initiative
The study included 4,433 community-dwelling South Africans of all races, with Black South Africans comprising the majority of respondents. Few studies of personality disorder, and none of this size, had been conducted in South Africa previously.
The findings reveal not only the low treatment rate of psychiatric disorders in South Africa, but also that personality disorder and its tendency to occur with other psychiatric illnesses is a universal phenomenon that cuts across countries and races. South Africa is fortunate in having a 8am to 8pm help line 365 days a year to help people with Mental health problems. 0800 12 13 14 or sms 31393. Said Zane Wilson the Founder of the South African Depression and Anxiety Group,”” more and more people are coming forward with their problems for referrals and treatment, from the most remote parts of south Africa. Mental illness is still highly stigmatised in some areas and SDADG provides a safe place for people to get help with or without a medical aid””
For further information contact Janine on 082 338 9666
Or Zane Wilson 083 321 4163