Mental Health is a state of well being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with normal stresses of life, can work productively and is able to make contributions to his or her community Leonard, Gupta stated that Mental Health is usually assumed as the antonym of mental illness or in other words it is the absence of any psychopathology.
This explanation ignores the concept of positive health and therefore attempts have been made to provide a definition from a broader perspective. Achieving mental health and maintaining it consists of two functions. One is preventing and treating various psychological disorders and other is about promoting mental health.
Many mental disorders have their beginnings in childhood or adolescence. The National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey found that 13 percent of children ages 8 to 15 had at least one mental disorder, a rate that is comparable to diabetes, asthma, and other diseases of childhood.
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Yet, mental disorders often go undiagnosed and untreated for years Lawlor, It was previously stated that there was no one "official" definition of mental health. Cultural differences, subjective assessments, and competing professional theories all affect how "mental health" is defined WHO, WHO definition of health: "A state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease".
It is related to the promotion of well-being, the prevention of mental disorders, and the treatment and rehabilitation of people affected by mental disorders. Mental health describes either a level of cognitive or emotional well-being or an absence of a mental disorder. From perspectives of the discipline of positive psychology or holism mental health may include an individual's ability to enjoy life and procure a balance between life activities and efforts to achieve psychological resilience.
Mental health is an expression of our emotions and signifies a successful adaptation to arange of demands Holmes, The National Association for Mental Health describes some of the characteristics of people with good mental health: comfortable feelings about one's self, feeling 'right' about other people and being able to meet the demands of life. To attain these one should get well or adjust to the environment Srivdhya, At least one in five children and adolescents may express a mental health problem in any year and in the United States, it is estimated that one in ten children and adolescents suffer from mental illness severe enough to cause some level of impairment.
The trend lines in these categories had been moving up steadily through the s. Here, then, is the nutshell summary of the crisis:. Now that number is 1 in 3, with trend lines rising.
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The first point is certainly true. Some scholars argue that attitude change and a willingness to seek treatment is the only reason for the shift. He acknowledged that students are in some ways more sensitive and prone to anxiety, but argued against an epidemic of mental illness. However, despite similar base rates, the numbers of folks who sought treatment had almost doubled in the same period.
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Ronald Pies has made a similar argument, namely that what has changed is treatment-seeking behavior, rather than actual levels of mental illness. Although their arguments are important, the data they report are not the only data on this topic. I see a number of indicators that things have actually gotten worse, especially when we look at this generation and data in the last decade.
Some general population level data do suggest fairly stable trend lines such as those reports offered by Kashdan and Pies. For example, we have definitely seen substantial increases in rates of suicide, substance misuse, and depression in certain demographics , such as middle age , lower-class whites. Trend lines in adolescents and young adults also show evidence of increases in psychopathology. Jean Twenge has been tracking cohort data carefully and has found significant changes in stress, depression and anxiety.
The rate was 7. The suicide rate for adolescents and young adults per , people also has seen a jump. It was 9.
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These are substantial changes and are not self-report or treatment-use data. A similar pattern is found if we compare college student self-report data on feeling distress. The American College Health Association puts out an annual report based on large surveys of college students.
I pulled scores from and compared them to scores in on feeling overwhelming anxiety, depression , loneliness , and suicidal ideation, both in the past two weeks and in the past year. As depicted in these graphics, we see a substantial increase in rates of anxiety, depression, and suicidal ideation, and some increase in loneliness. The strongest data point to this being a generational phenomenon with increases in children, adolescents and young adults emerging since the s. I should comment here that this is not something that has to do with college students per se. The take-home message is this: The college student mental health crisis refers to the massive increase in treatment-seeking in college students.
Indeed, when I spoke about the trend with Dr. My next post will be on why things have changed and will offer some resources for what we should be doing about it. As a psychiatrist who once worked at a college mental health clinic, I appreciate Prof. Henriques is raising. However, I do quote Dr. Indeed, as Prof. The three are often, but not always, directly related. Methodology of study is also an important variable. Henriques is a self-completed survey that takes about 30 minutes to complete; whereas the National Survey on Drug Use and Health NSDUH involves actual interviews and takes about an hour to complete.
For example, the percentage of young adults years with any mental illness AMI excluding serious mental illness SMI was higher than the percentages in most years between and but was similar to the percentages in and [figure and table 57]. The actual percentage of AMI in All that said, I agree with Prof. Henriques that there are indicators of increasing psychopathology among younger populations ages For example, the percentage of young adults who attempted suicide was higher in than the percentages in most years from to though it was similar to the percentage in We are also seeing rising suicide rates among adolescents age , in whom suicide rates nearly doubled between , with most of the increase occurring after , and with the sharpest rise occurring in girls.
So, yes—there is reason for worry, beyond increasing rates of diagnosis and treatment-seeking, in younger populations.
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My personal view is that bullying and abuse via social media are significant factors in the younger age groups; however, I will be interested in Prof. Regards, Ronald W. Young adolescents as likely to die from suicide as from traffic accidents. The New York Times. Thank you for sharing your perspective here, Dr. It seems we are generally in agreement that the data are mixed, but point to significant reasons for concern. I will follow up with some thoughts about what to do in the next post.
Thank you, Gregg if I may I'll look forward to your follow-up piece. Regards, Ron. I spent time around college age kids from , when I was 18 and no one had a smartphone, until , when everyone did. Phones have become such a dominating factor in life that they might as well be another lobe of the brain. To break that down: A Isolation has been well studied. Despite the fact that phones make interconnectivity easier in some ways, they also serve as a constant source of withdrawal from surroundings.
The endless flow of content and gamification of social media have made it hard for reality to compete for attention. B The utter dominance of Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter set the context for life being an endless contest for attention, popularity, impact, etc. Everything is measured and the stats are right there to see. Beautiful people succeed on Instagram and surely are inspiring feelings of envy and low self-worth. This sort of thing has always been around, but it has never been so front-and-center in moment to moment life for young people. When three companies matter, and the only roles in society that get a visible reaction are model, entertainer, or programmer, that is going to leave a lot of people out in the dark at an early age.
C There is a well established cultural norm among college age people that they have been set up to fail by rising tuition and absurd entry-level hiring standards. People are so despondent they can only joke about it. And those are just reasons that have to do with phone addiction. When you factor in that pop culture only glamourizes partying and fast food, meaning an ongoing biological assault that is incredibly difficult to escape, you start to wonder how any of these kids are ok.
This is an increase in even just the past 10 years. They are also more likely to be first generation college students. Much like in the general population, students of color are faced with the additional stressors of discrimination, including overt, indirect, and microaggressions. Look at the research that the Steve Fund and the Jed Foundation has done on stress, mental health, and suicidality among students of color, especially at predominately white institutions. Three of the 4 students I saw on intake today were students of color, including two that were not born in the US.
Two identified with other additional marginalized groups, based on religion and sexual orientation. We cannot continue to discuss and explore the mental health treatment demands without also specifically looking at the stress and coping skills at our societal marginalized groups of students. I appreciate this comment.
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I checked them out. They are clearly raising an important issue on this point, but I did not see anything that strongly pointed to the role minority students would be playing the crisis. Although there is some evidence that minority students experience more stress, the general picture on mental health is not clear.
African Americans, for example, are much less likely to experience suicidal ideation. As a group, they tend to utilize services less. Again, this is an important issue, but not the cause of the crisis as I have defined it. Of course, there are many important issues associated with mental health that are not tied to the crisis per se. I can't post the url here. If you can't find it, you can email it to me and I will send. There is also the problem with the fact that, at such an age, the human brain is still very vulnerable, and that it can experience chemical imbalances, which could lead to hypomania, depression, or psychosis.
Thank you for shedding some light on this important issue. I am a few years out of college now, working full-time and in a part-time MBA program, but very nearly did not survive undergrad. I won't go into full detail, but below is a very abridged account of my mental health experience as a college student. I was diagnosed with a severe panic disorder at age 13 and major depression at age 15 and experienced disordered eating and self-harm symptoms throughout adolescence, but had responded well to psychotherapy and a combination of Celexa and Wellbutrin.
I finished at the top of my class in high school and went on to pursue concurrent dual degrees in music and neuroscience. I did very well the first two years of college, landing on the dean's list at both the music school and the college of arts and sciences. However, halfway through my programs, the FDA came out with new dosing guidelines for Celexa; the maximum dose was now 40mg. I had been on 80mg of Celexa for over five years.
Swapping over to Lexapro was disastrous for me. I seemed to stabilize after a few months but never got back to where I had been.