Mental illness and its relation to social elements

Is mental illness just a disease or is there more to it than the eye meets? Basically, talking from a medical point of view, e mental illness is some kind of defect in the brain, mostly. But when it comes to quite a social point of view, some other issues appear. When a person is mentally ill, it is considered that the person is deviant, therefore, is not a part of what could be considered a “normal” type of social norm.

Mental illnesses are connected to different factors than those found in the brain, also. Take for example the link between the social status of a person and how that person gets to evolve during his/her lifetime. If a child is raised in a neighbourhood which is considered dangerous, is under constant fear and usually struggles, because of low incomes or other factors, that child is bound to a lot of stress which could threat its mental health. That developed person could manifest either depression, bipolar disorders or different other diseases, which are usually caused by the environment as well, not only by different processes inside the human brain. Sticking to somehow the same pattern, stress can also help develop depression, as some people are not really able to confront the challenges day to day life and society put them through every single day and thus be overwhelmed.

There are a few theories to support the statements mentioned above. The stress theory, on the short, talks about how different factors, events and problems can overwhelm a person and therefore, cause them to snap, by putting a pressure on their resources and abilities. Labeling theory goes in regard with how an individual behaves or self-identifies in concordance by terms used to describe or classify them. Those with no power or social status might be affected by what others think of them and also become depressed.

Also, another study showed that females are likely to have a disease such as depression, on base of vulnerability, different abuses and the views of society regarding a female, whereas males are more likely to have a problem like substance abuse, because of daily struggles and that stigma that men have to compete all the time. Feeling miserable because they can’t overcome the expectations of those around them could lead to substance abuse, as somehow of a shelter.

Mental illness is a subject which could be debated endlessly, but more or less, society and social issues also have an effect on how mental illness is developed or furthermore sustained.


Diana Rusu


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