A good psychological state is essential to our health. Social, economic, political, and environmental factors all contribute to our overall well-being. We need a multi-layered approach that takes into account the determinants of wellbeing and take action on a global level to improve the well-being of our population. We will discuss some of the social determinants of psychological illness. Read more about these social determinants of mental health. To promote well-being for all, we need to understand what they are, how they affect people, and how we can intervene.
Some mental disorders are caused by deficiencies in certain brain chemicals called neurotransmitters. These chemicals govern attention, mood, and energy levels. When levels of these neurotransmitters are low, the person is likely to develop psychological illness. Other environmental factors also contribute to psychological illness, including continued exposure to violence. For example, exposure to violence can result in post-traumatic stress disorder. This illness has many symptoms and may not be diagnosed until the first decade of life.
Many disorders can be classified as a single mental disorder. These disorders are characterized by differences in how they impact a person’s life and affect their daily functioning. Common mental disorders include social anxiety disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and agoraphobia. Schizophrenia is the most serious of all. It can lead to a lifelong disability and a high rate of suicide. People with schizophrenia are more likely to experience delusional symptoms than those without any of these disorders.
Psychiatric statistics indicate that mental illnesses affect all segments of the population, but women suffer from different symptoms from men. Bipolar disorder, for example, has different symptoms for men and women compared to those of men. Fortunately, bipolar disorder is curable without requiring hospitalization. There are several treatments for this condition, including psychotherapy and medication. But if a person suffers from either of these disorders, they will likely need treatment differently.
As the 19th century began, the number of mental institutions expanded dramatically in Western countries. The French, German, and English authorities developed their own classification schemes for mental illnesses. In the nineteenth century, the term “psychiatry” was coined and medical superintendents were known as alienists. By the turn of the century, mental institutions were more commonly called hospitals and the “inmates” became “patients”.
Virginia Woolf’s novels explore the social and psychological conditions for those suffering from mental illnesses. Her characters grapple with the social stigma of such illnesses. Their lives and their psyches are impacted by their illnesses, and the novelist herself became overwhelmed by the pressures of society and her own mental “guardian”.
In the late 20th century, advances in genetics and neuroscience led to the development of new psychiatric treatments. Cognitive behavioral therapy developed into other psychotherapies. During this time, new criteria-based classifications were adopted by the DSM and ICD. The number of “official” diagnoses increased, and the use of benzodiazepines and lithium was common. However, dependency problems curtailed their popularity. And in the 1990s, recovery from psychological illnesses became a popular method.