Jan 5, 2022
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A sick planet

A sick planet

Not so long ago, the planet was celebrating World Mental Health Day, and the vastness of the Internet was again full of sad numbers. Alas, there are plenty of problems here.


According to the World Health Organization, mental illness, which caused premature death and disability, confidently took the lead, overtaking cancer and cardiovascular diseases combined.

There are approximately 1 billion people in the world today with mental disorders. The most common of these is depression, which affects up to 200 million people a year. But it is also the worst thing – it is depression that pushes people to suicide. More than 800,000 people commit suicide every year. The current situation with the mental health of the population was called a “global failure” by the WHO.


Unfortunately, the situation in our country is also aggravating. If in the world about 15 percent of the population needs the help of psychiatrists, then in Russia – all 20-25 percent of the country’s citizens. The collapse of the Soviet Union, a change in the social system, the restoration of capitalism – all this hit people very painfully, in their psyche.

Let us take the last time for illustration. At the beginning of 2011, 1.7 million mentally ill people were registered in our country, and another 2.2 million were in need of “counseling assistance”. And this is only according to official data. In reality, WHO experts then estimated the number of mentally ill or mentally unhealthy Russians at 10 percent of the total population – about 14-15 million. The situation was aggravated by widespread poverty, drunkenness, drug addiction, uncertainty about today, fear of tomorrow …

And five years later, at the end of 2015, statistics spoke of 3.7 million patients. Moreover, domestic psychiatrists argued: the official statistics are underestimated five times, in reality, every fourth Russian suffers from mental disorders in various forms. Paradoxically, at the same time, the number of people taken under observation from 1995 to 2014 fell sharply – from 93 to 44 people per 100,000 population.

At the beginning of 2018, there were almost 4 million officially mentally ill in Russia alone – this is 3 percent of the country’s population. In reality, there are many times more people with signs of any mental disorder. Some experts even talked about 25-30 percent! If not sick, then at least not very healthy …


At the beginning of 2020, there were already more than 5.8 million people with mental disorders in the country. And, as the chief psychiatrist of the Ministry of Health said at the time, at least 14 percent of Russians needed help – more than 20 million. And in the spring of 2021, at the 17th Congress of Russian Psychiatrists, Deputy Minister of the Department Oleg Salagai announced: about 5.6 million citizens suffer from mental disorders.

That is, there are fewer patients … The situation suddenly changed dramatically ?!

After Russia switched to the classification of diseases according to the so-called ICD-10 scheme, adopted in the countries that are members of the WHO, some diseases have disappeared altogether. All patients diagnosed with “sluggish schizophrenia” immediately became healthy.

Every year the number of sick and unhealthy people grew, as elsewhere in the world, and suddenly everything changed in one year. And what a year! 2020 is the year of the pandemic! When in all countries the growth of mentally unhealthy people is noted. However, our officials have never been trusted …


It is unlikely that anyone would argue that the statistics of the incidence of mental disorders should be discussed with great caution. As, however, about any disease. But in psychiatry this is especially noticeable and understandable: few people go to see a psychiatrist – as a rule, they lead to him. And therefore, for the sake of accuracy, we should only talk about the identified cases.

And in the pandemic year, everyone tried not to go “to the doctors,” for fear of catching the infection. Polyclinics and hospitals turned out to be her nurseries. But this does not mean that everyone has become healthier. And it is not for the Ministry of Health official not to know, not to understand.

Rosstat refuted the lie, perhaps not even wanting to. He recently released the following figures: 60 percent of women and 68.6 percent of men are “psychologically healthy”. This is the average figure for the country, in different regions they differ. I don’t know what statisticians call “psychological health”. However, simple proportions helped me to solve the problem: how many “psychologically UNHEALTHY” are now in our country? The roughest estimate showed: 52.8 million Russians – every third!

Almost two years of the pandemic have done their dirty work: the number of borderline mental disorders has almost doubled in the world, the number of patients with paranoia and depression has increased. The coronavirus has provoked the dire social consequences that society is now experiencing so badly. And according to experts, these changes in the psyche of people will affect their well-being and behavior for many years to come. Moreover, they lay on the prepared soil. Our world has long since turned into a world of disunited people. There are no work collectives, they do not wait for anyone in the evenings, Culture houses with clubs, gyms with various sections … Yes, plus the Internet, which has turned into ersatz communication. Live normal communication has been given up. “This is a catastrophe!” – says Professor Andrei Shmilovich.

Experts believe that the main reason for the mental problems of children is the almost open disregard of society for their interests and even life. Adolescents are left to themselves, the problems that worry them, do not interest anyone. And we just can’t figure out who should deal with them.

Capitalism has brought wild stratification, the poverty of families has deprived children of many things – good food, summer vacations, the opportunity to attend clubs and sections – now you have to pay for them! And insult to humiliation because of poverty, because of the atmosphere of envy and anger pushes children to the worst …

According to Rosstat, 18.2 thousand Russians committed suicide in 2018, and almost 17 thousand in 2019.

And the worst thing is the number of child suicide: 2017 – 692, 2018 – 788.

20 percent of children’s suicides occur in May – the time for passing the exam and exam at school. Both the teachers themselves and the parents have been trying for many years to achieve their abolition, but the authorities continue to staunchly defend their “achievements”. Recently, Rosobrnadzor again spoke in favor of preserving the Unified State Exam. Like, a complete rejection – from the system of stupid coaching ?! – will reduce the quality of education. And in general, he allegedly “motivates” schoolchildren to learn …

Alas, in capitalist Russia, the school has ceased to be a place not only for psychological safety: they have ceased to teach, educate, occupy children – they now sell educational services. Naturally for those who can buy them. Openly divided, stratified the kids into children from poor families and “wealthy” … The school has ceased to be a place where children can feel in physical safety. It is worth remembering the shootings in Kazan and Perm. Is this really just the beginning? ..

Olga Kitova

Photo: Adobe stock

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