Mental-health professionals can treat mental-health disorders successfully, the December 2014 Awake! Magazine has reported.
Under the headline ‘Treating Mental Disorders,’ it reported, “Sufferers, however, can benefit (from treatment) when they accept suitable treatment.”
Mental-Disorders, which include mental illnesses as well as behavioral and psychiatric disorders, the magazine reported, “afflict people in every part of the world and impact the lives of their loved ones.”
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), mental depression is the single largest contributor to worldwide disability.
“Schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are among the most severe and disabling disorder. Although huge numbers of people are affected, mental disorders remain hidden, neglected and discriminated.”
In Liberia, it is evident that many men and women who are afflicted by minor to severe forms of mental disorders are not cared for and receive no form of treatment.
Though the WHO states that people with mental illnesses refrain from seeking treatment because of the stigma associated with it, health officials in Liberia have not made treatment of such people a matter of priority.
Liberian citizens mentally challenged are most of the time abandoned by the family, due to the inherent disgrace/stigma associated with it, according to our investigations, “since many family members don’t have the financial capacity and other needed support to care for their afflicted relatives.”
According to many Liberians, those afflicted with mental-disorders are being punished for a past crime through witchcraft and others become mentally deranged as a result of illicit use of banned substances.
But experts define mental-health disorders as significant dysfunction in a person’s thinking, emotional control and behavior.
“The condition often disrupts a person’s ability to relate to others and to deal with the demands of life,” according to Awake!
“That’s exactly what happens to many of our brothers and sisters in our streets,” commented a woman of a relative who suffers from mental disorders.
Awake! Magazine continues “The severity of symptoms can vary in length and intensity, depending on the individual and particular ailment and circumstances.
“It can affect people of any gender, age, culture, race, religion or educational and income level.”
The research pointed out that “mental health disorders are not the result of personal weakness or a character flaw.”
Through appropriate medical care, individuals suffering mental disorders can be treated and they can live productive and fulfilling lives, but such a prospect doesn’t give hope for mentally ill persons in Liberia.
“Who are the health-professionals? Do they exist in this country?” asked a woman whose brother has suffered the condition for more than twenty years.
She added, “With the rebuilding of Liberia’s healthcare sector, let’s hope that attention will go to such people who have become slaves of mental-disorders so that they could be helped to regain their sanity.”