People once treated signs of mental illness as punishments from a higher being. This would often mean that the afflicted person would not receive the proper care they need. As time passed, our understanding of these cases has changed. We now know better thanks to research and developments in psychology.
Today, our knowledge continues to grow. People are especially interested in discovering the causes of such disorders. We often ask, “What factors can affect people’s mental wellness?” In this article, let’s take a look at some socioeconomic aspects and learn how they affect mental health.
Social standing has a significant correlation with mental health. In fact, studies show that they go both ways.
Those who are of low social standing are at a higher risk of developing disorders. Specific conditions of this social class include low income, high debt, and less access to health care and other benefits. Because of these problems, the person is at a disadvantage in life. For instance, having a significant amount of debt can lead to depression.
At the same time, having a mental disorder can also lead to socioeconomic struggles. Those whom people see to be “less stable” do not have as many job opportunities. They may then find themselves taking low-income jobs.
This two-way relationship thus makes the situation more difficult. Individuals struggle to break the cycle of poverty and mental illness. Furthermore, social standing has indirect effects on mental wellness. One’s social class is related to other factors mentioned in this article.
It broadens your perspective about your own life dilemmas in relation to those of others, and it helps you become more flexible in changing circumstances. — Douglas LaBier Ph.D.
The political environment of a nation also affects mental health. Those entrenched in warfare and instability are more at risk of developing disorders. When a country is at war, especially civil war, citizens often do not feel safe. They are then likely to develop issues such as anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
A corrupt government may also be incapable of providing for people’s needs. Officials may also be more attentive to problems such as inflation and government debt. Mental wellness may then be at the bottom of their priority list.
Additionally, politics also affect social standing. Poverty is prevalent in countries ravaged by conflict and war. As mentioned earlier, this has adverse effects on mental health.
Health and longevity gains from volunteering come from establishing meaningful volunteer roles before you retire and continuing to volunteer once you arrive in your post-retirement years. — Dawn C. Carr MGS, Ph.D.
Cultural And Ethnic Background
Culture also has its part to play when it comes to mental wellness. It refers to not only the set of beliefs an individual has but also that of the people around them.
While some cultures have become more accepting, some remain ill informed about psychological problems. Many individuals fear opening up about their struggles. They believe others may invalidate their problems. People often tell them that they lack exercise, a balanced diet or do not talk to God enough.
Additionally, society may not hold the same values as the individual. For example, a person with liberal views may feel constricted in a conservative community. Members of the LGBT community often struggle when they are from conservative cultures.
Lastly, one’s ethnic background is also significant. Those who are part of minority groups such as indigenous groups tend to be at a disadvantage. Given that there is still racism and prejudice in society, this makes such individuals more likely to develop depression and other issues.
In psychology, experts often look at childhood experiences to explain problems that we face as adults. These problems often deal with how our life was at home as we were growing up.
The clearest signal was that a conflict within the community was not brought into the structures we had established for engaging with conflict. Instead, conversations that happened behind closed doors were not brought into the open or the rest of the community, and a small and subtle rift began that neither I nor anyone else consciously attended to in a focused way. — Miki Kashtan Ph.D.
Those who experienced trouble at home are at a higher risk of developing psychological problems. Psychologists attribute trauma during this time is to depression and other disorders. Examples of trauma can be a loss in the family or a divorce.
In short, mental wellness is more than just a biological issue. The economic, social and political environment dramatically affects us in different ways. Such can either put us at an advantage or disadvantage regarding our well-being. Society still has a long way to go in addressing these problems to help us all be healthy in not only the body but also the mind and spirit.