Non-communicable diseases

Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are those you “get”, rather than those you “catch”.

Non-communicable diseases (NCDs)

Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are those you “get”, rather than those you “catch”.

We are all very familiar with the concept of communicable diseases – because they include the common cold, flu and, of course, COVID – and, increasingly, we understand what we need to do to make people who have them better: medications, surgeries, nursing programmes, etc. We also have methods to prevent people getting them: e.g. general hygiene, masks, vaccines, social distancing.

What about non-communicable diseases?

Some NCDs are those in the name of our organisation – so illnesses associated with stress, anxiety and depression.

NCDs also include things like heart diseases, strokes, cancers and diabetes, as well as diseases linked to tobacco, alcohol and recreational drugs, and those linked to behavioural or environmental issues.

The World Health Organisation says that 71% of all deaths are caused by NCDs – so, the ones people ‘get’ rather than ‘catch’.

Clearly, NCDs are just as serious as communicable diseases but they call for a different strategy. This is because part of the problem is some of the things that we do.

Although medical interventions may be helpful or even necessary, changing behaviours is often critical to recovery. And when it comes to prevention, changing our behaviours is the major factor.

But knowing we need to change what we do usually doesn’t lead to long-term changes in what we actually do! Ask anyone who has been told they need to change their diet, drink less alcohol, or exercise more!

Changing behaviour is difficult for everyone – and particularly difficult for people who have too much stress and anxiety in their lives or who experience depression often.

Yet the right support can make it possible.
Researching and then creating that support is what NISAD does.

We are a team of innovative scientists, researchers & therapists working with behaviour change.

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