Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Many mental illnesses reduce life expectancy more than heavy smoking

That is the title of this article I am writing about today.  “Serious mental illnesses reduce life expectancy by 10-20 years, an analysis by psychiatrist has shown—a loss that’s equivalent to or worse than that for heavy smoking.  Yet mental health has not seen the same public health priority, say the scientist, despite these stark figures and the similar prevalence of mental health problems.”  If you smoke and you have mental health problems I guess you are in worse shape.  Although they compared the results for smoking and mental illness and they saw that mental illness was worse.
What are the actual years? “The average reduction in life expectancy in people with bipolar disorder is between nine and 20 years, while it is 10 to 20 years for schizophrenia, between nine and 24 years for drug and alcohol abuse, and around seven to 11 years for recurrent depression. The loss of years among heavy smokers is eight to 10 years. Dr Seena Fazel of the Department of Psychiatry at Oxford University said: ‘We found that many mental health diagnosis are associated with a drop in life expectancy as great as that associated with smoking 20 or more cigarettes a day.” When they put it in those terms and associations it looks bad for people with a mental illness including me.
They must have reasons for stating this: “One problem is the tendency to separate mental and physical illness, explains Dr Fazel.  ‘Many causes of mental health problems also have physical consequences, and mental illness worsens the prognosis of a range of physical illnesses, especially heart disease, diabetes and cancer.  Unfortunately, people with serious mental illness may not access healthcare effectively,’ says Dr Fazel.”  That is one good reason to at least exercise.  I want to live longer but not sicker I want to have a good quality of life in my old years.  Mostly everybody I feel wants that too.  All three are bad to have diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
What can be done to help so this does not all come true? “Dr Fazel is certain: ‘All this can be changed.  There are effective drug and psychological treatments for mental health problems.  We can improve mental health and social care provision.  That means making sure people have straightforward access to health care and appropriate jobs and meaningful daytime activities. It’ll be challenging, but it can be done.’”  Maybe with the new health care law and more people getting insurance they can get the healthcare they need.  Hopefully the will do what the doctors say.
People with mental illnesses need to get in and see doctors so they can work on their health. I know that goes for me even though I lost some weight I have to get serious again to lose more. I have not been doing as much walking as I used to.  Back to the treadmill I king of lapsed working at that.  I always go to the doctor and as for my working out I am in good shape.  With more people getting Medicaid and other insurance and hopefully both their psyche doctors and their primary doctors they can get the help they need to make sure they live long and satisfying lives.

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