Nov 1, 2021
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Woe is me

Woe is me

World Mental Health Day – or is it more correct to call it mental NON-health? – celebrated on October 10 by the UN decision since 1992.

In 2002, Russia joined it. Today this day has passed quietly and imperceptibly everywhere in the world. There is nothing to celebrate …


Alas, the state of mental health of the population of our planet is grave. And it gets worse.

The World Health Organization (WHO) is forced to draw attention to this problem due to the rapid increase in the number of patients. There are approximately 1 billion people with mental disorders in the world today. The most common of them is depression, which affects up to 200 million people a year. The scary thing is that it is depression that pushes people to suicide. More than 800,000 people commit suicide every year. WHO called the mental health situation of the world’s population a “global failure”.

Unfortunately, things are no better in our country than elsewhere. If in the world about 15 percent need the help of psychiatrists, then in Russia – all 20-25, a quarter of the population! The collapse of the Soviet Union, the change in the social system, the restoration of capitalism – all this hit people very painfully, in their psyche.

Let’s take the last two five-year plans. 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 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 already five years later, at the end of 2015, statistics spoke of 3.7 million patients. Moreover, domestic psychiatrists argued: the official statistics are underestimated by a factor of five, in reality, every fourth Russian suffers from mental disorders in various forms. Paradoxically, at the same time, the number of those taken under observation from 1995 to 2014 fell sharply – from 93 to 44 people per 100 thousand of the population.

At the beginning of 2018, there were almost 4 million officially mentally ill in Russia alone, which is 3 percent of the country’s population. In reality, there are many times more people with signs of any mental disorder.


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% of Russians needed help – that’s about 20 million.

And in the spring of 2021, at the 17th Congress of Russian Psychiatrists, Deputy Minister of the Department Oleg Salagay announced: about 5.6 million citizens suffer from mental disorders. That is, there are fewer patients … The situation suddenly changed dramatically ?! Every year the number of patients 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 there is an increase in mentally ill people in all countries!


In the pandemic year, everyone tried not to go to the doctors, fearing to catch the infection. 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”. These are the average figures for the country, in the 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, and the number of patients with paranoia and depression has increased. The coronavirus has provoked the dire social consequences that society is experiencing so much now.

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 down 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, the House of Culture with clubs, gyms with various sections … Yes, plus the Internet, which has turned into ersatz communication. And then a pandemic appeared … A cross was put on live normal communication. “This is a catastrophe!” – says Professor Andrei Shmilovich.


Another circumstance aggravates the situation in Russia: there is nowhere to be treated, and there is no one, and there is nothing! In the language of officials, over the past 20 years, the availability of Russians to receive psychiatric care, as well as to medical care in general, has decreased. The tragic result: the vast majority of those in need of treatment do not receive any medical assistance.

In 2018, there were 300-350 thousand beds in the country for such patients – this is not enough even for those who are officially recognized as sick. There were about 5 thousand psychiatrists throughout the country, 40-45 percent of doctors are missing! Well, there is no need to talk about how healthcare was financed in our country. Everything was reduced to “optimization”: the main thing in the reports was how many hospital beds the region reduced in a year!

The Soviet health care system is one of the best in the world! – systematically destroyed in capitalist Russia. She demanded too much money …

Olga Kitova.


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