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Social Factors That Influence Health

5 min read

Social Factors That Influence Health – After a few anxiety-related episodes, I became more familiar with my mental health I have always been aware of the mind-body connection for the ultimate wellness experience, however I am not the same with all the knowledge about mental health.

What strikes me most is the continued use of the term “health” to describe a field of study that is closely related to “disease.” To put things in perspective, health is an overall state of physical, mental and social well-being It is not just the absence of disease Good health prevents disease and health professionals are beginning to embrace the concept of wellness Regarding physical health, that is

Social Factors That Influence Health

We still have a long way to go when it comes to mental health. Much knowledge is related to the concept of mental illness While mental health is growing in our dialogue, our infrastructure and social fronts are not yet catching up A culture of institutionalization still prevails and is slowly disappearing in low-income countries. Treatment is still a more common option than prevention Despite the changed lexicon, mental “health” still refers to the misconception of “absence of disease” as opposed to objective “wellness.”

Wider Determinants Of Health Explained

We can talk all we want about diagnostic methods and the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). But if we want tangible progress, it’s prevention that we must work on, and the best way to realize that is to address the social determinants of mental health.

Social determinants of mental health constitute five key domains that often interact to create populations most vulnerable to mental health disorders.

Economic area deserves maximum attention because it is fundamentally connected with others This includes factors such as income, food security, employment and financial hardship, all grouped together under the larger umbrella of inequality.

Economic inequality erodes social capital, social cohesion and social trust and affects individuals throughout their lives. Poverty affects children’s neurodevelopment and mental health Studies link low socioeconomic status at birth with increased risk of psychosis later in life. To begin with, children from low-income families are at higher risk of developing mental illness as adults

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The three main risk factors for mental disorders (poverty, childhood adversity, and violence) are all inextricably linked to economic hardship, particularly due to loss of income due to poor education and limited employment opportunities.

Overall, there is a cyclical relationship between poverty and mental health disorders Research consistently links depression to inequality, which is especially troubling today as wealth inequality, both within and between countries, reaches new levels every year, especially with the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.

As the saying goes, “the grass is always greener on the other side”, albeit on an unconscious level Several studies have shown that poor economic status is associated with mental health outcomes ranging from common mental disorders to mental illness and suicide. It increases social comparison and raises concerns related to socioeconomic status.

Finally, there is another dangerous economic determinant of mental health. It is born out of extreme capitalism; It is about the commercial interests of large corporations at the expense of the public A profit-driven agenda has been known to discourage efforts to improve mental health and effective public health policy, as big alcohol lobbyists are notorious for.

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A particularly calamitous example of private companies interfering with the mental health agenda is the opioid crisis in the United States. The rise in the epidemic can be largely attributed to Big Pharma’s aggressive marketing of opioid compounds to medical providers, even though they are known to be addictive.

Did you know that women are more prone to depression and anxiety? And on the other hand, are men more prone to substance use disorders?

As always, women bear the cross of gender inequality. Gender disparities act alongside other adversities such as poverty, gender-based violence, sexual harassment and food insecurity that increase the prevalence of common mental disorders among women. As you can see, economic factors play a role in other social determinants and create a population that is highly vulnerable to mental illness and poor mental health.

Ethnicity is also a determining factor, especially when discussing ethnic groups In an environment characterized by racial discrimination or migration, such populations become highly vulnerable to a range of mental disorders, from anxiety and depression to psychosis.

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Risk factors and patterns of mental disorders vary greatly over the course of our lives, so age is another important variable affecting an individual’s mental health. Most mental disorders appear in childhood and adolescence Detecting early signs at this stage is essential for prevention, as this is the most developmentally sensitive stage

Although most mental disorders develop early in life, they only become apparent to “health” providers in adulthood, when prevention is no longer possible. The only way is treatment Interventions from childhood to adulthood are critical and have lifelong consequences Therefore, the mental health of children and youth should be given priority

Next in line is the neighborhood domain, which describes how an individual’s built environment affects it This includes water and adequate sanitation, housing and community infrastructure Although it also affects mental health independently of economic phenomena, it cannot be denied that the infrastructure goes back to the issue of economic inequality.

Neighborhood signs strongly influence our mental health As the world’s population continues to grow, urbanization is increasing. Urban dwellers face a higher risk of developing mental health problems Urban environments provide high levels of stimulation (eg, population density, crowds, smells, sights, clutter, pollution) that keep individuals in a state of adrenaline. In other words, more pressure They also deprive residents of safety factors that contribute to good mental health, such as access to nature, privacy and peace.

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The number of urban poor continues to grow. They move to big cities for the perceived wealth of economic opportunity, but the reality often falls short and ends up in poverty. Increased exposure to violence, crime and drugs is becoming the norm. People with this condition tend to live in inadequate apartments, in overcrowded areas Inadequate sanitation, insecurity and hunger characterize urban poverty, posing significant challenges to a person’s overall health, not just mental health.

Social and cultural determinants of mental health include social support, culture and education It also includes social capital, the relational networks that enable a particular society to function effectively, and social stability, how these systems allow society to remain predictable and reliable.

As you may have guessed, this area is primarily concerned with the positive and negative effects of community and family relationships on an individual’s mental health.

For example, parent and child abuse, which is witnessing family violence, harms mental health. But positive family social networks and other forms of social support can protect and benefit mental health.

Climate Change And Health

Culture also acts as a buffer by creating shared meaning and identity Mental health is worsened by loss of cultural identity due to forced migration by Scheduled Tribes and climate, war and economic refugees.

Education also comes into play here Did you know that education protects against common mental disorders and dementia by developing cognitive reserve? Overall, education works in tandem with other sectors, namely the economy, and can contribute to improving employment and reducing wealth inequality and gender inequality, which in turn contribute to mental well-being. Improving education to improve mental health worldwide. It is very important to do

Last on the list is environmental action This includes violence, war and exposure to migration and natural disasters, which today are strongly driven by climate change.

Overall, psychological trauma from armed conflict limits the ability of civilians to function in society. In this context, conditions such as depression, anxiety, substance use disorders, and post-traumatic stress disorder are common. Strengthening social institutions that reduce violence has the potential to prevent mental illness and promote mental health.

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Natural disasters can also disrupt the social fabric of society Developing countries are particularly vulnerable to them, mainly due to lack of government resources, lack of infrastructure and capital. Natural disasters present a major physical obstacle to a functioning civilization and have strong psychological consequences.

Climate change is the major problem of the 21st century This increases the frequency of certain natural disasters such as floods and prolonged droughts These events are associated with anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder The resulting trauma and loss, such as loss of home or job and isolation from neighborhood and community, can contribute to depression and anxiety.

Each person’s mental health is unique and a product of biological and social influences, economic adversity and social disadvantage play a major role in global mental health outcomes. Psychology, sociology and economics are more connected than most think

Mental health is a public and worldwide concern for sustainable development. All countries should be considered “developing” because there are great differences in distribution and access to resources

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