Background: The burden of mental disorders
globally is increasing. With the impact of COVID-19
pandemic, coupled with increased economic constraints,
financial hardships, stretched lockdowns, (particularly in
South East Nigeria), high level of insecurity, unrest and the
accompanying poverty, it is reasonable to assert that a
greater number of people in this environment are
transitioning from mental health to mental disorder. The
study objective was therefore to determine the prevalence
and pattern of distribution of mental disorders among
adults in Imo State South East Nigeria.
Methods: It was a community based cross sectional study
conducted from January 1
to March, 31
adults in Imo State South East Nigeria. Multistage
sampling technique was used to select a total of 1012
subjects from the study. Nine mental disorders:
depression, anxiety, somatic symptoms, substance use,
mania, sleeping disorders, psychosis, suicidal ideation and
dissociation were assessed using self or informant-rated
measures, the DSM-5 Level 1 and 2 Cross-Cutting
Symptom Measures. The collected data were analysed
using SPSS version 25.0. Descriptive method was used to
summarize the data demographic characteristics while the
prevalence of the different mental disorders was examined
and presented in form of frequency and percentages.
Results: In this study, a total of 974 participants completed
the study with a response rate of 96.2%. The general
prevalence of mental disorders in Imo State was 48.4%.
Somatic symptom was the most prevalent with 258(54.8%)
while the least was mania with 15 (3.2%) of participants
Conclusion: this study ascertained that the prevalence of
mental disorder was higher than previously estimated.
Somatic symptoms, depression and anxiety disorders were
the most prevalent while mania, dissociation and psychosis
were the least prevalent. This calls for urgent development
and implementation of strategies for prevention of mental
disorders in Imo State, South East region and Nigeria.
Keywords : Mental disorders, Prevalence, pattern of distribution, DSM-5 Level 1 and 2 Cross-Cutting Symptom Measures, Imo State South East Nigeria.