✎ Written by: Dubravka Rebic
Mental health awareness has come a long way in the past few decades. Not more than 50 years ago, mental health was considered something that shouldn't be discussed, but luckily the conversation surrounding the topic has shifted. Today, we are fortunate enough to be able to talk about mental health more openly than we were in the past.
In fact, mental health awareness is now promoted in schools, celebrities are speaking out about their emotional well-being in interviews and on social media. Although some stigma persists, a survey from 2019 showed that most Americans have formed positive views about mental health and treatment. The majority (87%) even said that they are in favor of being more open about conversations surrounding mental health.
However, despite these moves in the right direction, there's still much room for improvement as well as a lot of overlooked information that should be widely known. So, as Mental Health Awareness Month comes to an end, let's review some lesser-known mental health facts to help raise awareness and emphasize the importance of adequate care.
1. Global Dementia Cases Are Forecasted to Nearly Triple by 2050
Dementia is a term used to describe various signs and symptoms related to cognitive decline, such as memory loss and impaired ability to remember, think, or make decisions. It's more common as people grow older (about one-third of all people aged 85 or older may have some form of dementia), but it is not a normal part of aging, and it can severely affect a person's functioning.
Every three seconds, someone in the world is diagnosed with some form of dementia. Currently, this translates into nearly 57 million new cases a year worldwide. Importantly, according to recent research, the number of people with dementia will nearly triple to more than 152 million around the world by 2050 (all ages combined). The predicted rise is largely down to population growth and aging, but researchers state that an unhealthy lifestyle can contribute too.
Lifestyle factors that may increase the risk of developing dementia include a poor diet, smoking, drinking excessive amounts of alcohol, lack of exercise, and not keeping the brain active and stimulated enough.
Luckily, there are things you can do to potentially reduce the risk of dementia and keep your brain healthy. Read more about it in our blog.
2. The Average Age of Diagnosis for Women With ADHD Is 36 to 38 Years Old
ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) is a neuro-behavioral disorder characterized by an ongoing pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity/impulsivity. Because this condition was traditionally thought to affect mostly men, but also because women tend to have less obvious or socially disruptive symptoms, many women with ADHD are misdiagnosed or diagnosed later in life.
In fact, according to Dr. Patricia Quinn, author of Understanding Women with ADHD, for women not diagnosed in childhood, the average age of ADHD diagnosis is 36 to 38 years old. Before that time, girls and women are often misdiagnosed as having depression or an anxiety disorder.