Mental health issues are a key concern associated with the well-being of people belonging to various generations. Their extensive spread throughout the population defines an increasing role of healthcare professionals in finding appropriate solutions. This paper contains a review of primary causes leading to mental illnesses along with available social and individual measures intended to cope with them. It also contains a summary of the traditional arguments against obtaining psychological support with their critical evaluation based on the latest research data. The findings emphasize the significance of raising the awareness of mental health issues among the general public and properly addressing them.
Mental health is an essential phenomenon that influences individuals’ well-being. Even if a person does not have any physical health problems, mental health issues can significantly decrease their life quality. It is so because these conditions create some barriers for people to enjoy life in its entirety. That is why health care professionals should do their best to find ways to solve the existing problem. Thus, the working thesis statement is that a comprehensive approach to influence both social structure and care given to individuals is needed to address numerous mental health issues, including depression, complicated grief, hopelessness, and others.
To begin with, one should explain that mental health problems are a universal issue. People from all over the world are subject to this condition. Even though Sewell et al. (2017) consider psychiatric disorders among older patients, it does not mean that the younger population cannot be exposed to these issues. Thus, the scientists stipulate that the most typical mental health problems include a major depressive disorder, complicated grief, diminished ability to experience pleasure, and even suicidal ideation (Sewell et al., 2017). It is additionally concerning that the onset age of numerous severe mental health issues is rapidly decreasing and is currently below 24 years for about three-quarters of cases (Tseng et al., 2016). A recent survey also demonstrated that more than half of college students “felt overwhelming anxiety” and over a third “felt so depressed that it was difficult to function” (Cain, 2018, p. 738). The extensive scope of the mental health problems and the critical rates of their development among the younger generation turn them into a pressing issue requiring an immediate response.
A profound review of the causes leading to mental health issues is a crucial step in the search for a solution and development of efficient treatments. Various factors can make people subject to such conditions, and when asked, respondents primarily classify them into three main groups, which include environmental and psychological factors, spiritual causes, and genetic ones (Choudhry et al., 2016). The environmental factors are the most common ones and include the loss of a close person, retirement, physical health problems, and others. It means that an individual is at risk of suffering from depression and others when a significant change has just happened to their lives. In other words, an inability to adapt to new living conditions causes the issues under analysis. Besides, these factors can be aggravated by belonging to a sexual or ethnic minority, members of which often face inequality and discrimination leading to widespread depressions and frequent suicide attempts (Scandurra et al., 2017). Therefore, environmental and social factors are usually the leading cause of mental health issues, which require thorough review and direct solutions.
Considering the causes of mental illnesses, it is worth noting that many people presume spiritual or genetic factors to be the major ones. They still believe that such issues have some supernatural origins attributing them to either “the result of the anger of God” or “some blessings and spiritual connection with God” (Choudhry et al., 2016, p. 2813). The resulting stereotypes related to mental health lead to the majority of the public never obtaining the appropriate specialized treatment. On the contrary, over a third of individuals with such conditions prefer getting support from the clergy instead of medical professionals (Stull et al., 2016). This is also aggravated by a significant share of people believing that mental issues have genetic origins and therefore constitute an inherent feature of a person. Understanding these misinterpretations of the real causes leading to degraded mental health levels is crucial for promoting the appropriate treatments and the role of professionals in countering the associated issues.
The information above demonstrates that the health care industry needs the solution to this problem to create a healthier population. The directions to pursue in this regard fall into two primary categories, which include influencing a social structure and applying individualized approaches for specific cases. The article by Searight et al. (2020) addresses available social solutions and offers a few useful thoughts. Firstly, Searight et al. (2020) explain that family support is a valuable tool to combat mental health issues. Thus, many older Americans suffer from the problem because they are left in nursing homes without visitors. Secondly, strong religious faith can also reduce the number of mental health issues among the population (Searight et al., 2020). People who tend to accept their fate without emotional distress are less likely to experience mental health disorders. Finally, a general understanding of the challenges faced by the minority communities and the hazards posed by the unfair treatment of individuals could change the social environment and reduce the associated risks.
For specific cases, the overall social modifications can often be supported by individual therapy, pharmacotherapy, and counseling groups useful in addressing mental health issues. After a thorough review of the underlying causes of the existing conditions, a professional can provide both treatment options and recommendations on changing the daily life patterns. However, the use of medications as a critical treatment element, which has become relatively widespread, requires a cautious approach. The regular prescription of multiple drugs constitutes a burden for many patients impacting their “sense of identity and the meaning they placed on understanding the disease and self” (Scoglio et al., 2019, p. 319). Therefore, a combination of the required social measures with appropriate individual solutions, including prudent use of medications is a correct strategy for improving the overall mental health levels.
Although life experience and numerous specialized studies have shown the positive effects of healthcare professionals’ intervention in the case of mental illnesses, many people still raise arguments against it. The most common point is related to stigma being a significant force preventing people from seeking specialized assistance. They believe that addressing mental issues to a third person is a sign of weakness, and doing it is often condemned by society. However, considering the severity of possible outcomes capable of destroying an individual’s life, it is reasonable to treat mental health problems similar to any other life-endangering issue. Another argument against specialized treatment is related to the abuse of medications and their side effects. They should be used only when necessary, under the strict control of a professional and in combination with other measures. Thus, the arguments stated against the treatment of mental health issues only show the value of its correct understanding and implementation.
In conclusion, the paper has demonstrated that mental health issues are a severe problem in the modern world. People of various ages and origins can be subject to numerous disorders, including depression, suicidal ideation, complicated grief, and others. Different conditions result in the fact that individuals are exposed to these conditions, meaning that specific steps are needed to address the situation. These steps can be divided into two groups depending on their influence areas. The first group is broad, and it stipulates that it is reasonable to influence the social structure to make fewer individuals subject to mental health issues. It refers to encouraging family support and strengthening the position of religion. In turn, the second group includes individualized measures that are taken to provide individuals with specialized assistance to overcome the existing problems. The combination of these steps can decrease the prevalence of mental health issues among the population.
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Scandurra, C., Amodeo, A. L., Valerio, P., Bochicchio, V., & Frost, D. M. (2017). Minority stress, resilience, and mental health: A study of Italian transgender people. Journal of Social Issues, 73(3), 563–585. Web.
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