The trends and stigma attached to mental disorders were outlined by Prof. Dr. Mariana Arnaudova - Head of Direction "Psychiatry" and Prof. Dr. Hristo Kozhuharov - Head of Second Psychiatric Clinic at UMHAT "St. Marina"- Varna at a meeting with the media. The occasion for the meeting was the World Mental Health Day, which has been marked annually in October.
According to data provided by Prof. Arnaudova, most frequent patients at psychiatric clinics are those with anxiety disorders such as bipolar disorders and depression. There has been a rising trend of the abuse of psychotropic substances. Statistic data show that the number of suicides has been decreasing, with the number of suicides in Varna and the district being 100 over the first half of 2019, while for the same period in 2018 it was 124. Globally, the number of suicides has been 800 000. Therefore, this year's World Mental Health Day focuses on suicide prevention worldwide.
"The stigma attached to mental disorders remains the key problem," Prof. Kozhuharov pointed out. As a result of the stigma, patients are doomed to the vicious cycle of alienation, poverty and social exclusion. "Bulgarians are intolerant to the different. However, this problem is not only ours - it is a global issue and affects both patients and psychiatrists," explained Prof. Kozhuharov. According to him, only 1/3 of the Bulgarians with mental health problems seek medical help due to the fear of being excluded from society and labelled as different.
The experts emphasised on the important role of the media and people in the society for raising the awareness of the issues related to mental disorders.