Jumaat, 28 Oktober 2011

Mental Health Issues

A mental disorder or mental illness is a psychological or behavioral pattern generally associated with subjective distress or disability that occurs in an individual, and which is not a part of normal development or culture. Such a disorder may consist of a combination of affective, behavioural, cognitive and perceptual components. The recognition and understanding of mental health conditions have changed over time and across cultures, and there are still variations in the definition, assessment, and classification of mental disorders, although standard guideline criteria are widely accepted. A few mental disorders are diagnosed based on the harm to others, regardless of the subject's perception of distress. Over a third of people in most countries report meeting criteria for the major categories at some point in their lives. The causes are often explained in terms of a diathesis-stress model or biopsychosocial model. In biological psychiatry, mental disorders are conceptualized as disorders of brain circuits likely caused by developmental processes shaped by a complex interplay of genetics and experience.

"Within the borough unemployment rates among people with longer-term mental health problems increased steadily during the 1990s, despite a decreasing rate of general unemployment for the majority of that period. Unemployment among people with long-term mental health problems increased from 80% in 1990 to 92% in 1999, and the unemployment rates among those with a diagnosis of schizophrenia increased from 88% in 1990 to 96% in 1999. "- Vincent Willem van Gogh

"The bigger issue was this culture change that we eventually implemented which simply did not accept the notion that people would kill themselves, the idea that zero would be our goal,"- Ed Coffey

Mental health is about the ability to be at ease with oneself, cope with daily problems and challenges, maintain a harmonious relationship with others and be able to take part in community activities and contribute to the community. Of late there has been an increase in the number of incidents involving persons with mental health disorders. It has also been found that social ills, divorce, child abuse and baby dumping are also a reflection of the mental health status of the population.Incidents such as the stabbing of her own children by a depressed mother, the attack on policeman by insane persons and depressed students committing suicide as well as other unreported cases clearly indicate that mental health problems are on the rise.

Worldwide, mental and behavioural disorders have shown to account for 10% of the Global Disease Burden in 1990. This is predicted to increase by 15% in 2020.
Psychiatric disorders and other forms of mental illness are tragic reminders of another side of life which must not be overlooked in our quest to become a fully industrialised nation.The impact of mental health problems on the people and their families as well as society as a whole is immense and needs to be addressed.

There is no simple answer to this question as there are lots of reasons why someone might develop a mental illness. They might inherit it from their family, it might be because of their lifestyle or it might be because of things that have happened to them in the past. Usually it is a combination of all of these. The reasons for someone developing a mental illness are often broken down into groups.They can be:

  • Physical
  • Social
  • Environmental 
  • Psychological 
Physical causes are those which are biological in nature. Someone might inherit characteristic from their family through their genes which mean they are much more at risk than other people.It has also been found that people who have suffered head injuries can experience changes to their personality, and in some cases may begin to experience schizophrenia and psychotic type symptoms.

Things that are going on around us, and how we feel about them can have a big impact on our mental health.The physical environment where we live can be very stressful, particularly when there are problems with neighbours, or if there are high crime rates and other such issues.When we face difficult times our support networks become very important – those who do not have close friends or families, or those who do not live near the people who support them may find it increasingly difficult to cope alone.

Your psychological state can influence your mental and emotional state, particularly if you are are coping with traumatic and abusive past or current experiences. Significant life events, like bereavement, divorce or if you have self-destructive thought patterns and perceptions, can impact on your mental health.

Margaret Thaler Singer, Ph.D. and Richard Ofshe, Ph.D.
The Star

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