A new report from Statistics Botswana (SB) entitled “Psychiatric out-patient health disorders” has revealed that Schizophrenia is the leading mental health issue in Botswana. This statistical health report which analyses Out-Patient consultations about mental health disorders in Botswana notes that “Schizophrenia unspecified was ranked first for both males and females with 52.3 percent for males and 37.1 percent for females”.
The report also notes that “Epilepsy unspecified was the second leading consultation among males, constituting 8.6 percent of consultations while Depressive episode (unspecified) was second leading amongst females with 18.1 percent”.
According to Different Brains which strives to encourage understanding & acceptance of individuals who have variations in brain function and social behaviours “Schizophrenia is a serious disorder which affects how a person thinks, feels and acts. Someone with schizophrenia may have difficulty distinguishing between what is real and what is imaginary; may be unresponsive or withdrawn; and may have difficulty expressing normal emotions in social situations”. They also states that “the signs of schizophrenia are different for everyone. Symptoms may develop slowly over months or years, or may appear very abruptly. The disease may come and go in cycles of relapse and remission”.
The statistical health report also notes that other mental health disorders which rank in the top 10 include depressive episode, schizoaffective disorder, bipolar affective disorder, acute and transient psychotic disorder, mental and behavioural disorders, mental and behavioural disorders due to use of cannabinoids, psychotic disorder, dementia, unspecified mental retardation and unspecified non organic Psychosis.
In the 0-14 broad age group, the leading Mental Health Consultations was “Disturbance of activity and attention” accounting for 27.8 percent followed by Epilepsy unspecified with 21.7 percent and Unspecified Mental Retardation with 8.2 percent. In the 15-24 broad age group, the leading mental health Out-Patient consultations was schizophrenia “with 26.3 percent followed by Epilepsy Unspecified with 10.4 percent and Depressive episode unspecified, with
9.7 percent”. In the 25-44 broad age group, “Schizophrenia, Unspecified (46.1%) was the leading mental health consultation, the second was Depressive episode, unspecified with 10.6 percent and the third was Epilepsy, unspecified with 7.5 percent”.