Mental health

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The scary truth is that ordinary human hatred and aggression are far more dangerous than any psychiatric illness. ~ Richard A. Friedman
While the statistics note that some 20% of people are dealing with a mental health issue, “that impact is multiplied by three or four when you’re thinking about the impact on society. For example, if dad is depressed, he might not be going to work. His wife is feeling the effects of that. And so on. It spreads beyond” the person with the mental health problem, so it’s important to think about these figures in context of how they impact society at large. ~ Elaine K. Howley
People's willingness to interact with someone with a given disorder was best predicted by their belief about the communicability of that disorder, with other beliefs — about, for instance, the disorder's psychological basis and the extent to which an individual can control the symptoms she displays — playing a much smaller role. ~ Tania Lombrozo
Austerity, inequality and job insecurity are bad for mental health and governments should counteract them if they want to face up to the rising prevalence of mental illness, the UN’s top health envoy has said. ~ Mark Rice-Oxley
Different powerful groups within a society characterize social deviance in different ways, so the types of social deviance considered 'mental disorders' are a reflection of the relative influence of different institutions in the community at a particular point in time. ~ Michael R. Phillips

Mental health is the level of psychological well-being or an absence of mental illness. It is the state of someone who is "functioning at a satisfactory level of emotional and behavioural adjustment". From the perspectives of positive psychology or of holism, mental health may include an individual's ability to enjoy life, and to create a balance between life activities and efforts to achieve psychological resilience. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the well-being of an individual is encompassed in the realization of their abilities, coping with normal stresses of life, productive work and contribution to their community.

Quotes[edit]

  • Even in the most uncertain of times, the role of a manager remains the same: to support your team members. That includes supporting their mental health. The good news is that many of the tools you need to do so are the same ones that make you an effective manager. Be vulnerable. One silver lining of the pandemic is that it is normalizing mental health challenges...the universality of the experience will translate into a decrease in stigma only if people, especially people in power, share their experiences. Being honest about your mental health struggles as a leader opens the door for employees to feel comfortable talking with you about mental health challenges of their own...
    Model healthy behaviors. Don’t just say you support mental health. Model it so that your team members feel they can prioritize self-care and set boundaries. More often than not, managers are so focused on their team’s well-being and on getting the work done that they forget to take care of themselves. Share that you’re taking a walk in the middle of the day, having a therapy appointment, or prioritizing a staycation (and actually turning off email) so that you don’t burn out... Sharing your own mental health challenges and modeling healthy behavior are two of the most important steps you can take.
    • 8 Ways Managers Can Support Employees’ Mental Health by Kelly Greenwood and Natasha Krol, Harvard Business Review (7 August 2020)
  • A 2015 study conducted by American University revealed that Millennials grew up hearing about mental illnesses—including eating disorder and suicidal tendencies—more than any other age group. This younger society is reportedly more accepting of mental health challenges and is also more likely to talk about mental health issues than their parents or grandparents. In the American University survey of 900 Millennials, more than 70 percent said they would be comfortable visiting a counselor or therapist...
  • Millennials were found to be the most anxious generation. Women reported higher anxiety than men, and people of color scored 11 points higher on the anxiety scale than Whites. Research suggests that African-Americans are 20 percent more likely to experience a mental health disorder as opposed to the general population, but many factors may inhibit proper treatment. Only 25 percent of Blacks seek professional help, compared to 40 percent of Whites with mental health disorders. Daily stress can be an enemy of your mental health. It causes a chemical reaction that occurs when the body goes into “fight-or-flight” mode. Your heart rate increases and blood pressure rises.
  • Mental health experts agree that when a person is experiencing excessive stress and it is interfering with daily activities, seeking help is key. In addition to discussing the situation with a professional, reach out to friends; look for local support; and find therapeutic resources. Some stress tools worth trying include, acupuncture; aromatherapy; art therapy; deep breathing; exercise; healthy eating; massage therapy; stretching; and yoga. Your mental health affects your physical health. Don’t ignore the signs.
  • The scary truth is that ordinary human hatred and aggression are far more dangerous than any psychiatric illness.
    • Dr. Richard A. Friedman, "Why Mass Murderers May Not Be Very Different From You or Me", New York Times, (8 August 2019)
  • Access to care is improving, but most Americans still have no access to care. The report states that 12.2% (5.3 million) adults with a mental illness remain uninsured, and 56.4% of adults with a mental illness received no treatment. “Over 24 million individuals experiencing a mental health illness are going untreated.” A severe shortage of mental health clinicians is adding to the problem.
  • Determining what’s causing these sharp increases is a complicated undertaking. Axelson says “there’s a lot of hypotheses, but there’s no definitive answer.” Still, the quick rise and pervasiveness of social media that’s been concurrent with these upticks in mental health disorders may play a role. At the same time, the amount of exercise most kids are getting daily has been steadily declining as physical education curriculums have been cut across the country. An increase in environmental toxins may also play a role. Axelson says the mental health trends reflected in the data have been showing up in the emergency room, putting strain on the system. “More and more kids are presenting to emergency rooms in crisis, and we’re noticing that trend at our hospital to the point we really needed to design a facility that was specialized.”
  • While the statistics note that some 20% of people are dealing with a mental health issue, “that impact is multiplied by three or four when you’re thinking about the impact on society. For example, if dad is depressed, he might not be going to work. His wife is feeling the effects of that. And so on. It spreads beyond” the person with the mental health problem, so it’s important to think about these figures in context of how they impact society at large.
  • What they’ve found is that when access to mental health services is increased, people do take advantage of that, but that shortages of mental health workers remain a big problem. “People can’t get care if they can’t find a child psychiatrist or a team, for example. If they’re struggling with a problem and you can’t find that care,” it almost doesn’t matter whether insurance will cover it.
  • Even in the best states, you have a 50-50 chance of getting care if you need it. That’s horrible,” she says, and the numbers highlight a real problem. Maine ranked the best in this measure, but still, 41.5% of adults in the state are not being treated for mental illness. Hawaii ranked the worst with 67.5% of adults going untreated.
  • The main place we need more mental health counselors is in American public schools. Right now we have one mental health counselor for every 1500 children...yet we have school “trauma rooms”...and elementary school kids on suicide watch!
  • If you have a mental health condition, you're not alone. One in 5 American adults experiences some form of mental illness in any given year. And across the population, 1 in every 25 adults is living with a serious mental health condition such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or long-term recurring major depression....
  • As with other serious illnesses, mental illness is not your fault or that of the people around you, but widespread misunderstandings about mental illness remain. Many people don't seek treatment or remain unaware that their symptoms could be connected to a mental health condition. People may expect a person with serious mental illness to look visibly different from others, and they may tell someone who doesn't "look ill" to "get over it" through willpower. These misperceptions add to the challenges of living with a mental health condition.
  • Every year people overcome the challenges of mental illness to do the things they enjoy. Through developing and following a treatment plan, you can dramatically reduce many of your symptoms. People with mental health conditions can and do pursue higher education, succeed in their careers, make friends and have relationships. Mental illness can slow us down, but we don't need to let it stop us.
  • Most people with mental illness are not violent. In fact, people with mental illness are more likely to be the victims of violence. Research on the relationship between mental illness and violence shows that there are certain factors that may increase risks of violence among a small number of individuals with mental illness.
  • As acceptance of mental illness has grown, the number of people seeking treatment has grown exponentially, overwhelming services in many countries. The phenomenon has divided experts into those who see mental illness as a predominantly biological, neurological malfunction, treatable by drugs and therapy, and those who believe it is much more psychosocial, the result of government policies, social atomisation, poverty, inequality and insecurity.
  • Different powerful groups within a society characterize social deviance in different ways, so the types of social deviance considered 'mental disorders' are a reflection of the relative influence of different institutions in the community at a particular point in time. In most Western countries the influence of the medical establishment and the high profile of psychiatry within medicine result in a strong tendency to medicalize many forms of social deviance, to label them as mental disorders, and to develop corresponding treatment facilities. However, based on my observations during a dozen years as a practising psychiatrist in China, the medical institutions there are relatively weak - medical care only accounts for 3.2 per cent of GNP - and psychiatry has a very low status within medicine. The influence of medical and psychiatric institutions on the understanding and management of socially deviant behaviours is correspondingly small and the range of available mental health services is quite limited.
  • Any action is often better than no action, especially if you have been stuck in an unhappy situation for a long time. If it is a mistake, at least you learn something, in which case it's no longer a mistake. If you remain stuck, you learn nothing. Is fear preventing you from taking action? Acknowledge the fear, watch it, take your attention into it, be fully present with it. Doing so cuts the link between the fear and your thinking. Don't let the fear rise up into your mind. Use the power of the Now. Fear cannot prevail against it.
    If there is truly nothing that you can do to change your here and now, and you can't remove yourself from the situation, then accept your here and now totally by dropping all inner resistance. The false, unhappy self that loves feeling miserable, resentful, or sorry for itself can then no longer survive. This is called surrender. Surrender is not weakness. There is great strength in it. Only a surrendered person has spiritual power.
  • Modern-day mental-health practitioners often look back at previous generations of psychiatrists and psychologists with a thinly veiled pity, wondering how they could have been so swept away by the [[cultural currents of their time. The confident pronouncements of Victorian-era doctors regarding the epidemic of hysterical women are now dismissed as cultural artifacts. Similarly, illnesses found only in other cultures are often treated like carnival sideshows. Koro, amok and the like can be found far back in the American diagnostic manual (DSM-IV, Pages 845-849) under the heading “culture-bound syndromes.” Given the attention they get, they might as well be labeled “Psychiatric Exotica: Two Bits a Gander.”
    Western mental-health practitioners often prefer to believe that the 844 pages of the DSM-IV prior to the inclusion of culture-bound syndromes describe real disorders of the mind, illnesses with symptomatology and outcomes relatively unaffected by shifting cultural beliefs. And, it logically follows, if these disorders are unaffected by culture, then they are surely universal to humans everywhere. In this view, the DSM is a field guide to the world’s psyche, and applying it around the world represents simply the brave march of scientific knowledge.
  • I've spent most of my professional life counseling people in despair... people don't usually come to me because things are going well... I know the emotional terrain of desperation fairly well. Such ground is no longer shocking to me. It has a strange familiarity. Since groups of people are simply a collection of individuals, the same psychological principles apply to a collective as to one person. The desperate group in question now is the people of the United States. To put it simply, America is having a nervous breakdown. A spiritual crisis. A complete disassembling of the personality after which a more authentic self might emerge.
    Yet for that transformation to occur, as a nation, we're going to have to do the work any individual must do to turn such a crisis into an opportunity. It won't be easy... But ultimately, if we're to emerge intact, we're going to have to do what anyone must do at such a time as this. We're going to have to look in the mirror. We're going to have to take full responsibility for the thoughts and actions that led us here. Then, and only then, will we be on the path to recovery.

See also[edit]

External Links[edit]

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