Reports of mental illness rising
14 February 2005, BRUSSELS - Eleven percent of Belgians claim to have suffered a mental illness last year.
14 February 2005
BRUSSELS - Eleven percent of Belgians claim to have suffered a mental illness last year.
The worrying statistic emerged from a recent survey of 22,000 people which was part of a study on mental troubles in six European countries.
A total of 2,419 Belgians said they had experienced mental illness such as anxiety, mood swings and problems related to alcohol.
Nine percent of the population sought help from mental health professionals for emotional problems last year.
Forty three percent of these problems were linked to moods, 38 percent to anxiety and 17 percent were alcohol related.
Most people, 43 percent, turn first to the family doctor or a psychiatrist, and only 13 percent go to a psychologist.
For the purpose of the survey, "medical treatment" was defined as at least one dose of medicine or "psychological treatment" such as therapy.
Medicine is prescribed in 33 percent of cases, rising to 53 percent when the problem is linked to alcohol.
More than one in ten Belgians (10.7 percent) developed mental trouble last year, anxiety levels rose to six percent, mood swings to five percent and alcohol problems to 1.8 percent.
Out of those claiming to suffer from mental problems, 72 percent are afflicted with only one ailment, with 26 percent experiencing several.
The study was carried out in the Netherlands, France, Germany, Italy and Spain by the Scientific Institute for Public Health.
[Copyright Expatica 2005]
Subject: Belgian news