A team of medical experts from the Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital Kano (AKTH) has said that one out of five individuals are vulnerable to mental illness.
The team, led by Dr. Muktar Gadanya of Department of Community Medicine, and Dr Auwal Salihu of Department of Psychiatry, stated this during a Community Awareness Campaign Programme organised in collaboration with the Neuro-Psychiatry Hospital, Kware, Sokoto State, in Ringim on Sunday.
The medical experts explained that the sensitisation was designed for people in the North West geopolitical zone, pointing out that Jigawa was so far the sixth state benefiting from campaign.
Gadanya said there were over 300 diagnosable mental illnesses – some mild, some moderate while some severe.
He added however that they were curable.
“Mild and moderate illness are about 80 per cent while the severe ones are only 20 per cent,
“The signs and symptoms of the severe mental illnesses include hearing something that other people don’t hear, seeing something that other people don’t see, aggressiveness, restlessness, poor sleep, talking alone, laughing alone and so on.
“The mild and moderate are depression, anxiety, persistent doubtfulness, pains, sleep problems, sexual problem and forgetfulness, among others.”
On his part, Salihu said the causes of mental illnesses were multiple, which included genetics, environmental, infection, drugs and stress.
Salihu said that the prevention against mental illnesses was promoting mental health hygiene, identification and treatment, rehabilitation and drug abuse prevention, and treatment of people with mental ailments.