Image Credit: Istock

Mental health disorders, big or small, are so stigmatised that people never manage to get the right treatments at the right time. People in your family, social circle or work could be victims to mental conditions without your knowledge or even theirs. For mental health, ignorance can be fatal. According to World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH), every forty seconds, someone commits suicide in the world.

After the most recent declarations by Selena Gomez and Zayn Malik on event cancellations due to anxiety, and with so many celebrities and influencers 'coming out' with these problems, we hope that the stigma associated with the conditions will completely go away soon.

1. Anxiety disorders

Anxiety disorders come in many types and stages. Obsessive compulsive disorders, phobias, post-traumatic stress disorder, eating disorders and behavioural disorders fall in this wide category. Minor forms of anxiety are common and can be treated with lifestyle changes and therapy. Medications are used when these methods fail to bring any change. All of the below disorders can trigger anxiety and so can genetic and environmental factors. Panic attacks are a common effect of high anxiety.

Emma Stone, Lena Dunham, Amanda Seyfried, Elton John and Kate Moss are a few celebrities known to have been diagnosed with anxiety disorders.

2. Depression

Depression affects more than 350 million people globally and is a leading cause of disability. Lack of productivity at work, problems in relationships and increased risk of self-harm are some of the effects of depression. Chronic cognitive symptoms of depression which include indecisiveness, and lack of memory and concentration are what impair quality of life of people with depression even after treatment.

Deepika Padukone and Kristen Bell are popular actors who have recently come out with their depression stories. These announcements can help unravel the stigma around diagnosis of depression and its treatment.

3. Bi-polar affective disorder

Affecting over 60 million people worldwide, bi-polar affective disorder can be manic or depressive. In manic episodes irritability, hyperactivity, lack of sleep, inflated self-esteem and speech issues are major symptoms. Stabilising moods using treatment and psychosocial support is essential to treat this disorder.

Vincent Van Gogh is one of the most celebrated artists of all time and his death in 1890 is attributed to bi-polar affective disorder. He also suffered from depression and anxiety. Catherine Zeta Jones and Demi Levato were diagnosed with this condition and underwent medical treatment.

4. Dementia

Dementia is progressive deterioration in cognitive function beyond the normal effects of ageing. It can be caused by other medical conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson's disease or strokes. Around 47.5 million people in the world suffer from some stage of dementia. While completely curing dementia is not possible, treatments can give patients and caregivers some relief.

Ronald Reagon, former president of the United States of America (1981-1989), announced that he was suffering from Alzheimer’s in 1994. Michael J. Fox suffers from Parkinson’s disease and dementia is a common condition in the later stages of this ailment. Lewy body dementia is believed to have been what led celebrated actor, Robin WIlliams, to his suicide (according to interviews given by his wife).

5. Schizophrenia

Delusions, psychotic hallucinations and cognitive distortion are what characterise this disorder. Due to the heavy stigma surrounding it, people often refuse to go in for diagnosis or treatment. It affects around 20 million people worldwide. What many people do not know is that with effective medical treatment and support, people with schizophrenia can lead a normal and productive life.

John Nash, celebrated mathematician and Nobel laureate was diagnosed with schizophrenia as was Albert Einstein’s son Eduard Einstein. Parveen Babi was an Indian actress who was rumoured to have been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and depression. She was found dead in her apartment in Juhu, Mumbai in 2005.

Optimal mental health results in the opportunity for a great quality of life. According to the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only 17 per cent of the entire U.S. population is in a state of optimal mental health. Awareness and diagnosis can help people with mental disorders to live a complete and productive life.