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Mental Health Issues Affect Three Million Mexicans

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MEXICO CITY, Nov 19, 2003 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- A new survey shows more than 3 million Mexicans suffer from mental disorders, but only one in 10 receives treatment.

In the first national survey of its kind, the most common mental ailments were revealed to be depression, alcohol dependence, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder, EFE reported Wednesday.

Data from the National Psychiatric Institute indicate the victims are primarily women and young people from the country's poorest and most marginalized social sectors.

The survey, commissioned by the World Health Organization and conducted with the cooperation of the National Polytechnic Institute, included 5,826 people, 18 to 65 years of age, living in urban areas.

The institute's director, Gerardo Heinze, said that people suffering from depression who do not receive treatment, especially in adolescence, are four times more likely than others to develop a dependency on alcohol or drugs.

Suicide resulting from depression is the third-leading cause of death among adolescents.

Copyright 2003 by United Press International.

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