ABOUT 70 percent of the mental issues presented to the Chainama Mental Hospital are either alcohol or substance intake-related, a psychiatrist has revealed.
Dr. Venivivi Lekani, a psychiatrist at Chainama Hills College Hospital, has revealed that mental health disorders are usually common in people who abuse alcohol and other substances.
He said alcohol affected a number of structures in the brain, adding that it was not a clean drug.
Dr Lekani said such behaviour was associated with alcohol withdrawal as the brain was starved of vitamins as a result of alcohol intake.
And Dr Lekani has advised against stigma for people living with mental disorders.
He said due to stigma, most people found it difficult to seek help whenever they suspect mental disorder.
Dr Lekani said anyone who was presented with a possible mental disorder problem was free to quickly seek advice without fear as there were sufficient experts and medical personnel to deal with the problem.
He said although there were unique kinds of presentations of mental health disorders, about 70 percent of the cases were alcohol related and substance intake.
He said people with a background of alcohol abuse many hallucinate or hear voices when they were admitted to hospital for illness not related to mental health.
“It happens that someone admitted to a ward for instance with malaria starts to hallucinate or see things that other people cannot see,” Dr Lekani, who has worked in both the University Teaching Hospital (UTH) and Chainama said.
He explained that sometimes while in the ward such patients have alterations in the way they perceive and see things.
“They have all these alterations in the way they perceive things. They can even see drip stand as snakes and sometimes run out of the ward as a result,” Dr Lekani said He said sometimes people develop disorientation to time and place and may develop permanent alcohol disorders.