n African Journal of Psychiatry - Where has all the stigma gone? : guest editorial

Volume 15, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1994-8220



There has been a dramatic increase in recent years in the number of people diagnosed with mental disorder. For example, in USA the NIMH estimates that, in any given year, 25% of the population has a diagnosable mental disorder. A prospective study found that, by age 32yrs, 50% of the general population had qualified for an anxiety disorder, 40% for depression and 30% for alcohol abuse or dependence. Fifty-one percent of boys and 49% of girls aged 13-19 have a mood, behaviour anxiety or substance abuse disorder. The World Health Organisation projects that by 2020 depression will be the second leading cause of worldwide disability. In South Africa psychiatric disorder has already knocked backache of its perch at the top of the disability log.

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