People who desire to lose weight may have mental health disorders – Ghana Psychology Council warns

Source The Ghana Report

The Ghana Psychology Council (GPC) has called for greater attention to be given to mental health in the country to minimise the chances of people falling victim to illnesses associated with the phenomenon.

According to the Registrar of the Ghana Psychology Council, Dr. Dinah Baah Odoom, there are several triggers of mental health problems within our Ghanaian society that has been ignored for so long, yet these are causing harm to a lot of people.

A common mental health disorder that hasn’t been given attention, she explained, is the phenomenon where many people have developed the desire of changing their body types, particularly, to grow slim because they are displeased with their shape or form or think themselves too fat.

Some people, she noted, go as far as starving themselves to become slim or performing surgeries to have a particular look.

This she suggested is alien to the Ghanaian culture, but due to the influence of social media, it has become a normal feature, particularly among university students.

“These days we have Ghanaians going for body sculpture, I just wonder when it became a fashion and so people think they don’t have the correct body type, we have something called body dysmorphic disorder, you don’t like your body, I used to think it affects people in the West when you can go for plastic surgeries so if they have the cheap one here where you can put something around your waist or your bust, it’s the same thing, so people begin to think they are not beautiful enough.

“Anorexia nervousa, is people who look in the mirror and think they are big or fat so they want to be slim and so they starve themselves, and bulimia who eat and take purgatives so that they can be slim, these are all mental health problems. We’re seeing a number of them in our hospitals that they are seeing a lot of young people, with bulimia and it’s affecting young people in universities who want to look like only God knows what. Social media is also adding to the stress and consequently suicidal ideations and hate of self,” she stated.

The use of deplorable roads and staying in traffic for long hours, among others, are common causes of illness associated with mental health, like stress disorders which manifest as hypertension and diabetes, that many people are not aware of.

Dr. Dinah Baah Odoom, noted with worry that as the risk of mental health increases, the chances of people committing suicide is also very high.


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