[Anchor Lead]According to some studies, one out of four Korean adults have suffered a mental illness at least once in their lifetime. But only 22 percent receive counseling or treatment for it. Mental illness is no exception in that early discovery and treatment are critical to beating the disease just like any other ailment of the body.[Pkg]This woman in her 20s suffered from serious depression. Her symptoms have improved noticeably after 3 months of counseling and medication.[Soundbite] (Patient Treated for Depression) : "I feel my life has changed. I've become more optimistic."She said she first hesitated to seek medical help due to social perception.[Soundbite] (Patient Treated for Depression) : "I wonder why I suffered so long and didn't consult with a doctor sooner, when it was possible all along to get so much better."Only 22 percent of Koreans who have experienced mental afflictions have received counseling or treatment. For the Korean public in general, less than 10 percent utilize services related to mental health, a figure much lower than the near 50 percent average in advanced nations. The low rate is largely attributed to the lack of improvement in the negative social perception of psychiatric treatment.[Soundbite] Lee Sang-min(Psychiatrist) : "Anxiety disorder and depression are caused by abnormalities in neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine. They can be improved by over 90% through proper medication."Mental illness is an affliction of the brain, and can be fully cured when discovered early, much like any other physical illness.
TagsKBS News Today