Dr. Richard Dei-Asamoa, a psychiatrist at Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, has pointed out that there are numerous individuals who are living with mental illness without being aware of their condition.
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.
In an interview on Opemsuo Radio’s Nkwantannanso with Kofi Boakye on September 28, Dr. Dei-Asamoa stated, “It is worrying because when we talk about mental illness, we often envision someone walking naked in town and talking to himself. Everyone thinks that’s mental illness, but mental illness, for the most part, manifests as anxiety or depression.”
He went on to explain that while everyone may experience anxiety at some point, excessive anxiety is indicative of a mental illness.
“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.
He made these comments in response to the World Health Organization (WHO), which has expressed serious concern about the state of mental health in Ghana. WHO estimates suggest that nearly 2.4 million Ghanaians may be dealing with various forms of mental illness.
Story by Adwoa S. Danso