Dr. Richard Dei-Asamoa, a psychiatrist at Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, has highlighted that betting and gambling can be a contributing factor to mental illness, particularly among the youth.
He explained that many young individuals invest significant amounts of money in betting and gambling with hopes of making a profit, but often end up losing. This financial loss, coupled with addiction to such activities, can lead to mental health issues.
“The major problem now is betting and gambling. They invest hoping to get more, and then they lose all their money. Some become addicted and can’t stop,” he stated in an interview on Opemsuo Radio’s Nkwantannanso with Kofi Boakye on September 28.
He clarified that not all mentally ill individuals walk naked on the streets, and the most common forms of mental illness are depression and anxiety.
“Anxiety is a normal feeling, but when it becomes excessive, that’s when it becomes a problem. Some people experience panic disorders.”
Regarding depression, Dr. Dei-Asamoa noted that some individuals feel sad for no apparent reason. They tend to isolate themselves in their rooms and may even contemplate suicide. Depression can lead to decreased productivity and laziness.
Dr. Dei-Asamoa encouraged young people to seek help when facing such challenges and emphasized that mental health support is not limited to individuals with severe mental illnesses.
These statements align with recent concerns raised by the World Health Organization (WHO), which estimated that nearly 2.4 million Ghanaians may be grappling with various forms of mental illness.