Maryam Ali was a university student when she first started to hear voices. Therefore, doctors diagnosed her with schizophrenia as well. And he believed that she would have stayed better off with cancer instead, not schizophrenia. To elaborate, he thought that cancer was easier to cure, as compared to schizophrenia too.
Hence, the health-care system drugged, diagnosed, and discarded her, like many others. However, she, subsequently, recovered. And she is a research psychologist now, and she is completing her PhD as well. And she is an international speaker on mental health too. Additionally, she hears voices, even today, but she does not need any medicines to handle them. Hence, through Ali’s tale, the Meraki proves that mental health is a social issue. Everyone should consider the following points:
Impacts of Environments and Experiences on Mental Health
People see mental health problems as biological diseases of the brain. That is to say, they think that psychological issues are incurable, genetically determined, and inevitable. Genes play an extremely important role. They influence all the vulnerabilities of traumas. However, evidence proves that the environment, as well as experiences, it affects mental health. They have exceptionally vital impacts on it too.
Abuse, Poverty, Discrimination, and Mental Health
Some children experience abuse, poverty, and discrimination, at certain stages of their lives. In other words, they more commonly develop mental health problems at some point. According to clinical psychology, stronger evidence proves an undeniably sturdy connection between future psychiatric disorders and childhood misfortunes.
Human Responses to Sufferings Are Normal
Everyone views, or characterizes, normal human responses to sufferings, as psychologically abnormal. For instance, if someone is unemployed, or divorced, then they might suffer from anxiety, and depression too. However, if somebody needs services or support, then it does not mean that they have a disease.
To add more, people think that the social issue is an excessively broader concept. However, it does not have much to do with mental health. And they believe that psychological well-being does not come under the domain of social problems at all. So, everybody tends to isolate society and mental-health from each other as well.
Also, they might emphasize treatment. However, they forget about prevention. And the treatments of mental health issues tend to rely on drugs, heavily. Additionally, these psychiatric medications work for some individuals, for sure.
However, they do not work for everyone too. And their side effects can become deliberating as well. After that, when someone bullies others at school, or they do not have a place to take shelter, then a pill will not erase the pain alone.
Perception of Mental Health Problems as Diseases
Many pieces of evidence say that everyone perceives mental health problems as diseases. And this perception might increase the chances of treating psychological issues as social stigmas, to a larger extent as well. So, no one supports them, and as a result, they do not recover ever. However, people can recover. That is to say, they can get better too. And they can go on to live rich, and full lives as well.
Moreover, individuals can succeed in work, as well as education, if their friends and family support them only. However, if the mere treatment available to them is pharmaceutical, then recovery is extremely hard for them.
In other words, treatments fail to address the root cause of their distress too. And they do not give them any of the resources that they need to heal as well.
Lack of Integration of Physical and Mental Healthcare
Everyone needs to look for a better way of thinking about mental health problems. In other words, they need to develop systems of health.
They should build such health systems that can integrate both physical and mental-heath-care at the primary-health-level, especially, too. To add more, nature has inextricably linked physical and mental well-being, as well.
And pain and physical illness can cause anxiety and depression too. To elaborate, as a result, these ailments can mask the underlying medical conditions as well.
In particular, doctors can interpret these experiences only through the lens of a psychiatric diagnosis. They do not focus on other diagnoses, such as the physical one. However, both types of well-being are equally important.
Economic, Social, and Cultural Factors of Psychological Treatments
People should start their treatments with a focus on the whole person. That is to say, they need appropriate, community-based-care, and holistic solutions too. So, these can take economic, social, and cultural factors of psychological treatments into account as well.
After that, they must broaden their understanding of recovery too. And they ought to know that to recover individuals should become able to live a good life. In other words, no one must define recovery, as the absence of certain symptoms merely.
Treating Mental Health as a Social Issue
Everyone ought to treat mental health as a social issue. And it is also a human-rights-issue. Hence, Mental Health Europe advocates for psychosocial models as well. In other words, everyone should acknowledge the profound impact of social environments and life experiences on psychosocial wellness too.
And these factors play an exceptionally important role in shaping mental health as well. Moreover, everyone knows that racism, violence, and poverty put people at a risk of psychological health issues too. So, they need population-level interventions as well. And these interventions can easily focus on fighting the root-cause of this public-health-crisis too.
And the world’s current systems for mental-health-care are failing at both prevention and treatment as well. To add more, future research might give more insight into the complex relationship between the brain, genes, and mental health too.
However, no discovery can prevent individuals from experiencing painful things as well. And they do not help them to erase their need for support too.
Therefore, mental health is a social issue. And society must focus on the voices of those who have experienced the lives of mental health problems, as well.