Mental Health Wellbeing
Mental instability is possibly the main underlining condition, if not the main root cause behind many of the community issues – be it from family/marital tensions, financial stress, substance/alcohol abuse, sadly an increasing number are resulting in suicide – particularly in young people. Some root causes such as loneliness or alcohol and substance abuse are found across genders and age groups, however many are attributed or specific to certain genders and age groups. What is clear is that the issue of mental wellbeing is increasing dramatically without any real means in place to alleviate the problem in the foreseeable future.
Mental illness refers to a wide range of conditions that affect a person’s thinking, emotions, behaviour, and overall mental well-being. These conditions can vary in severity and may impact a person’s ability to function in their daily life thus significantly impacting a person’s ability to function, maintain relationships and enjoy life.
Mental illnesses can be caused by a combination of genetic, biological, psychological, and environmental factors. Mental illnesses are diverse and can include disorders such as depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, eating disorders, and more.
Most recent concerns in the areas of Mental Wellbeing
Depression illness has increased significantly over the last decade and especially during Covid. A greater number of people are on medication to try and alleviate depression and as people become more affluent and less exposed to physical/financial hardship it appears to be almost at pandemic proportions.
Reasons people may suffer from depression are countless and we as individuals react to situations very differently depending on our resilience and outlook on life in general and more and more people seem to lack the mechanism to cope with life’s problems or disappointments. For example, let us look at long term unemployment, a situation that some people seem to be able to cope with but others feel a lack of self-esteem, under qualified, trapped in a never-ending poverty bubble, bored and even forgotten by the rest of society that inevitably results in depression. This, which not only affects their mental stability but also their physical well-being, others of course may shrug it off and feel there is nothing they can do until the economic environment changes for them and it is out of their hands. Similarly, bereavement affects us differently, some are able to cope maybe because of their religious, cultural or general attitude to life and death but others may be devastated by their grief and sink into depression.
Similarly, the causes of the increases in suicide amongst the young are countless and whilst many remain unaffected by these causes equally too many are vulnerable and unable to deal with them alone. Social media has provided a platform for bullying, shaming and leaving young people feeling inadequate as have certain reality television shows which target the young. Many young people are extremely emotionally vulnerable, especially during adolescence and the slightest emotional trigger (that an adult may dismiss) can result in trauma – devastating the young person.
Family tensions can also be contributing factor as many young people feel demanding pressures from their families in terms of (often unrealistic) high expectations in education. Additionally, there may be pressure applied (knowingly or unknowingly by parents) on their children to excel in sports, the arts and other activities which can have a detrimental affect on a young person’s mental health.
There may well be the additional pressure to enter forced marriages (which is wholly unacceptable) or to commit to an arranged marriage despite the young person not being ready for the demands of adulthood and being in no position psychologically, emotionally or financially to be a spouse.
Young people also are exposed to the influence of peer pressure which include engaging in drug taking, consuming alcohol and partaking in sexual activities. The added dangers of influences from social media can have a significant effect on a young person’s wellbeing as they struggle with their identity and their own ‘place in the world’ during adolescence.
These factors (although not exhaustive) result in young people being socially isolated with little to no support to focus on their own emotional wellbeing thus resulting in them being more vulnerable to being groomed and exploited
The structure of society does not provide any real safety net for the above matters and most people who are vulnerable have no real means to seek help and it is important all of society becomes aware that mental wellbeing is as important as physical wellbeing in this day and age if we are to merit the word civilised.