An overview on psychiatric disorders

Psychiatric disorders are the major problem in the world since antiquity. People from all over the world irrespective of culture and economic background suffer from mental disorders. These disorders posed a great challenge to the medical fraternity particularly in the developed countrie. According to the World Health Report (WHO, 2001) approximately 450 million people suffer from a mental or behavioral disorder, yet only a small minority of these receives even the most basic treatment. This account for 12.3% of global burden of disease and expected to rise up to 15 % by 2020. Current medical statistics has shown that the worldwide occurrence of mental disorders is high with reports of up to 30 % in general population,  among them anxiety disorders ( Phobic Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorders (OCD), Generalized Anxiety Disorders (GAD) etc. ) are the most prevalent with a range from 15 to 20%.

Anxiety disorders are responsible for a significant social cost due to individual suffering as well as indirect due to missed days from work.  An estimated cost of anxiety disorders comes into billions of dollars each year. The annual cost in United States alone estimated to be US $ 42.3 billion in 1990 and 65 billion in 1994. Among the anxiety disorders, generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is the most prevalent conditioncharacterized by a pattern of frequent persistent worry and anxiety.Anxiety is commonly experienced by virtually all humans; it has long been recognized as a prominent symptom of many psychiatric disorders, particularly associated with the symptom of depression. It is a diffuse, unpleasant, vague sense of apprehension, with or without associated autonomic symptoms. Normal anxiety is an alarming sign which alerts an individual of impending danger and enables one to take precautionary or corrective measures. Pathological anxiety is an inappropriate response to given stimulus by virtue of either its intensity or duration. There is huge impact on the health system not only because of the expanses with the treatment, but also because of the more frequent search for medical care caused by medical symptoms resulting by anxiety.

The life time prevalence rate of GAD is 4 – 7 % and one year prevalence is 2.5 – 3.5% in general population with a sex ratio of involvement 2:1 in female to male respectively. The incidence is more common among unmarried than married, among racial minorities than majority groups and among respondent with low socioeconomic status. In Germany the estimated per patient cost of GAD in 2004 was euro2728, which is considerably higher than per patient cost of any other anxiety disorder. Unani system of medicine has its own methodology of treatment with its holistic approach through doctrine of four humours and by applying the principle of Ilaj bil zid (antagonists approach). Although it has got wide varied formulations for the symptomatic treatment of anxiety related disorders but these formulations are not scientifically evaluated.