About this author
Zack Lynch is author of The Neuro Revolution: How Brain Science Is Changing Our World (St. Martin's Press, July 2009).
He is the founder and executive director of the Neurotechnology Industry Organization (NIO) and co-founder of NeuroInsights. He serves on the advisory boards of the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT, the Center for Neuroeconomic Studies, Science Progress, and SocialText, a social software company. Please send newsworthy items or feedback - to Zack Lynch.
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June 28, 2005

Mental Illness in Bangkok Soars 900% in 3 Years

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Posted by Zack Lynch

According to a recent report, the number of mental illness cases in Bangkok soared 900 percent, from 587 per 100,000 to 5,485 in three years, said the National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB). Among all patients in the Thailand's capital, 40 percent have mental disorders, 15 percent experience anxiety and 14 percent suffer severe depression, said the report. The national rate of people living with mental disease stands at 3,392 per 100,000 people. The report declared that changing life styles and increasing pollution were the primary causes of mental illness.

As I describe in my forthcoming book, Neurosociety, "Our aging and large population coupled with extensive global connectedness has created new problems for modern humans. In the last two hundred years, global population has soared from 300 million to over 6.5 billion. At the same time, life spans have more than doubled from 30 to over 70 years.

While many people question the uneven distribution of power that exists in today’s world, others are disillusioned by the happiness that wealth was supposed to provide. Constantly blasted with images of unattainable lifestyles, people face daily identity crises as they search for meaning in a world of continuously shifting truths. In every culture, feelings of uncertainty, depression, anger, and resentment have surfaced on a vast scale." In short, humanity faces a growing global mental illness crisis of epidemic proportions.

Comments (5) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Mental Health Issues


1. Frances M. on June 30, 2005 12:55 AM writes...

Barbara, I disagree w. you, Zack is not "pushing pills" on the contrary, not too long ago, he said "human social interaction" as one of the best antidotes for mental illness and encouraged us readers to go talk to someone!

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2. joe on June 30, 2005 2:39 AM writes...

i believe we humans are moving too fast we have to slow down & listen to each other advertising & the media play a big part in creating all the fear in humans fear = mental sickness

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3. Jessika on July 6, 2005 11:14 AM writes...

Interesting post!

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4. Peter on July 7, 2005 1:58 PM writes...

Are we talking mental illness or adjustment disorders to the increased complexity of life in Bangkok? What if we all had a mental illness when we get overwhelmed with cell phone drops, subways that are crowded and the ever present marketing blitzkrieg. Is there a way to view and treat this illness differently than in the past?

What kind of mass service structures, formal, informal and inbedded in cultural commodities, can we create to help alleviate people's pain?

Also, my hunch is that sensitivity to mental illness and the increase use assessments is also fuel for this jump.

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5. Mike Pepoon on July 8, 2005 3:23 AM writes...

Don't expect an truth to come out of the mouth of a filthy capitalist.

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