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Sharp rise in psychiatric admissions

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BY C.J.MCGINLEY

ADMISSIONS to psychiatric care in Donegal have seen a sharp increase of almost twenty per cent. Figures just released following a report from the Activities of Irish Psychiatric Units and Hosptials show there were 601 admissions in Donegal. Depression, schizoprenia and alcohol abuse were the three highest reasons for admissions for treatment.

Over fifty six per cent of those admitted were between the ages of 20 and 44.

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The figures show there were 99 more admissions in Donegal in 2012 compared to 2011. The news comes against a background of swingeing government cutbacks, a recruitment embargo on hiring staff, and the worst recession in the history of the state.

The report found the highest rates of first admissions were for depression (36.2 per cent), followed by Schizophrenia and delusion disorders (21 per cent) and alcoholic disorders (15 per cent).

The figures show by far the highest rates of admissions were in the 20-44 age category at 336. There were 170 admissions for people between 45 and 64 while 81 admissions for people over 65. Fourteen people under 20 years of age were admitted.

Overall alcoholic disorders are by far the highest rates for admissions. The highest rates of admissions to psychiatric hospitals last year were in Sligo, Roscommon and Kerry. Monaghan had the lowest rate of admissions.

There has been a 21pc decline in admissions nationally in the 10-year period from 2003-2012 – from 23,031 in 2003 to 18,173 in 2012. The difference in admission rates per county is not explained but is likely to be due to availability of beds; type of community services available; and treatment practices by doctors.

As with previous years, the unskilled had the highest rate. Depressive disorders were the most common diagnoses returned for admissions in 2012, making up 30pc of total – and 32pc of first – admissions.

 

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