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Antonio: The rapid increase in mental illnesses and the high suicide rate


Antonio: The rapid increase in mental illnesses and the high suicide rate

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), approximately 700,000 people commit suicide every year. The presence of a mental disorder or fragility is an increasingly widespread condition, especially following the Covid pandemic which has contributed to worsening situations of mental health impairment, never recorded before. The sudden change in mood, sleep disturbances, loss of appetite, isolation are signs that should be talked about in order to prevent the diagnosis of mental illness or potential suicide from arriving too late to avoid the worst.


Mental disorder is a "clinically significant" alteration of the cognitive sphere and of the regulation of emotions which reflects on a dysfunction in the processes of mental functioning from a biological, psychological and evolutionary point of view. The causes can be environmental, individual, familial or biological. Each person has significant daily variability in their mood based on circumstances, but the sudden and unjustified change in mood can also be determined by the intake of substances.


In any case, it is "indicative" of the emergence of a mental problem that should not be underestimated, as anxiety, social pressure, dissatisfaction and exclusion, together with the depressive state, can lead to episodes of self-harm and, in the most serious cases, suicide. While the world is seeing an increase in suicide cases, the most serious situation is in Lesotho, a mountainous, landlocked African kingdom of around 2.3 million people with around 87.5 suicides per 100,000 people. The reasons are always complicated and include abuse, chronic pain, financial problems, addiction, loneliness, latent mental illness and not brought to light through early diagnosis.


It is possible to escape from mental illness, through drugs, treatment and therapy with experts, even if often a devaluation of the emotional state, in the face of perfect physical health, affects the difficulty in arriving at evidence of the seriousness of the problem. The lack of the idea of the future, of a true perspective, are elements on the dramatic rise in our contemporary culture, which favor the dissolution of possible family or friend references.


Mental illness is “invisible” and burrows inside, until it manifests itself; this is why we need to increase sensitivity and the culture of prevention and use ever greater funds in what has been defined as the Pandemic within the Pandemic: the exponential increase in suicides and mental illnesses in adults and adolescents. Raising the alarm is necessary to understand which strategies and synergies should be activated.


Professor Antonio Giordano, M.D., Ph.D., is the creator and head of the Sbarro Health Research Organization, located at Temple University's College of Science and Technology in Philadelphia. Stay connected with him through his various social media platforms, including Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram, to receive the latest updates.

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