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Mental health simply describes the state of not having a mental disorder. It is the state of being psychologically sound and stable. It can go on to include the ability of an individual to express emotion and feeling in a way that relates to the feeling at the moment. This ability is regarded to be acceptable to those around them. Mental health is bound by several factors including cultural and can be described by one definition. However, to a wide extend one is considered to be of good mental health when he can properly articulate his emotions and go about his life in a manner that is productive both to the person and the community around. When one does not pose danger to those around him then he is regarded as having mental health.
The use of the term mental well-being can be traced to the mid-19th century when it was used by the founders of the American Psychology Association to describe the protection of the human brain from any and all forces that are will be used to tamper and, hence, affect the balance of ones capabilities and have its development altered. During the 19th century, many of those found to be suffering from mental illnesses were largely neglected and shunned by society; this was until Dorothea Dox, a key figure in the turnaround of mental health, strongly advocated for the attention to be given to the persons and called the society not to discard them. Her campaign had far reaching effects and this saw many patients brought to hospitals, but this proved to be a great task since many of these hospitals did not have enough staff to provide sufficient care for all the patients (Barlow et al, 2009). The turn of the 20thcentury saw the opening of the first outpatient wing concerning itself with mental illness an initiative of the national committee for mental hygiene.
According to the surveys conducted by the World Health Organization, a significant percentage of the worlds population is suffering from mental illnesses and this has affected their ability to perform their tasks and make contribution to the society in a productive capacity. The significance of good mental well-being is that it allows for individuals to have longevity in life and it offers them a good chance to have a variety of choices to make with regards to the direction their lives will take. It is well documented that mental illness or inability has been shown to be related to how well an individual is able to handle stressful encounters and how well they are taking care of their physical health. Included is the ability of an individual to adequately express his emotions in a way that the society around him deems normal.
When an individual subdues his emotional state and will not employ the proper channels of expressing the feelings he has, especially ones that are negative or cause him anxiety, it may give a rise to self-destructive methods of coping, which is the start of many self-degenerating acts such as low self-esteem that leads to drug and alcohol use as well as other substances to make one have feel he is in control of his metal state while the reality is on a downward spiral. In many societies around the world, there those have history of mental disorder often bear a stigma. People around them will be carious and this arm length attitude will only fuel their imbalance further as they will withdraw into their shells and not want to seek help when many of their conditions can be contained and even cured.
Gender inequality is the unfair or imbalanced treatment given to a person on account of their gender: male/female (Williams, 2012). In many instances inequality is found to reign in places of work and this leads to disparities of wages, job occupation where as a result of social construction, certain fields are associated with the male gender and certain are associated with the female gender only. It is here that many cases find the male population in a given task having to earn more than their female counterparts including cases where both counterparts have similar education background. Some of the professions require to be performed by females, for example, teaching nurses, and librarians while such jobs as engineers, architects or pilots will be associated with male gender. However, due to a lot of campaigns on the empowerment for both males and females, it has seen a turnaround where diversity is being witnessed around the globe with more and more persons pursuing fields they wouldnt have been certain of due to their gender.
Women and Mental Health
Mental health is a condition that will affect both men and women; however, they are not affected in the same capacity. According to the mental health foundation, women are more likely to be susceptible to a variety of metal disorders than men due to a number of factors designed by the environment and social constructions. However, it is the ability of women to talk out their issues and the strong bonds they create that will have them stand a better chance of protecting their mental health. It is clear that women take up man roles in life and are constantly busy and on the move to ensure those who are dependent on them have a comfortable and easy time as they go about their day. This will range from their home- spouses, children, extended family, and community, to their places of work and so forth. There are several factors that will shape the mental imbalance in women more than it is likely to do for men.
Many women will take up the roles of care providers in their family. This will not only include members of their immediate family, but will also trickle down to members of their extended family. For example, in a situation when a member of the family has been hospitalized and is suffering from a serious condition that will require intensive care treatment, many women will take such roles. Being emotional creatures they are left psychologically drained and will be unable to cope with the slightest of tasks leading them to emotionally break down easily. This will go ahead to affect their health, their social life at large. Other factors will include long term effects of sexual and physical abuse on women while they were young or in their adult life. Many will not speak out for fear of rejection or for the safety of their lives, and so the coping methods they will device will be detrimental to their well-being. They will self-medicate, rely on illegal drugs or become addicted to alcohol. It will see a rise in violent tendencies in others, who will take to the same violence imposed on them to resolve issues (Williams & Miller, 2008).
The female have been said to be multi asking. This situation has become a plunging spiral that has seen them biting off more than they can chew. Many strive to do everything in a perfect way. It becomes difficult to delegate duties and so the end result is that duties are not accomplished or that others are neglected and when this happens their stress levels will increase and affect their overall mentalstability. Many fond themselves working in the environments in which they are subjected to lower pay due to the presence of many female workers. It is for this reason that many women are financially less stable than men. In many broken homes, the man will leave and if there were children they are left under the care of the mother. Trying to fulfil others wishes leaves women little time for themselves and with no outlet for their pent up frustrations, thus, leading to mental conditions such as depression, eating disorders and high anxiety levels.
With such odds stacked against it is interesting to note that more women will seek treatment and consult a physician on how to manage their state. They will also be more open to other unconventional means such as yoga, meditation in an effort to relieve them of stress. About 29% of those who seek medical treatment are women. One of the factors that contribute to this high number is the fact that women are more likely to accept that they are distressed and that they need help. In many extreme cases such as suicides a lower percentage is recorded for women since it may be assumed their various roles will inhibit such thoughts. They will find it hard to be apart from their children. Society has given them a heavier burden to shoulder in the community and this bonds they create along the way sometimes work better than sitting in a therapists office for years to come with little outcome (Williams, 2012).
Men and Mental Health Care
A trend common to the United Kingdom as well as to other countries of the world is that each year, there are more boys than girls born. However, more boys than girls die in infancy before reaching the age of one year. The strides made in the mental health of women will need to be reflected in the case of the men. Age mortality studies conducted in 1999, revealed that men have a higher death rate than women. It is inclusive of health and other social related factors. It was estimated that about 12.6% of men will have their daily activities hampered due to presence of illness and that men will experience higher levels of hypertension as compared to women (Martin et al, 2002).
Low social and economic status is among prevalent factors that contribute to the emergence of mental instability for men. However the case is spread to other common men statuses, but those who are likely to be affected are mostly those with lowered socioeconomic status. Many will want to fill that they are providing adequately for their families an when this is not the case there is cause for increased stress levels, hypertensions and decline in physical health; since there is a strong connection between poor physical health and the occurrence of a mental illness .
Some of the most affected are the male gender of minority groups and this is in comparison to those of the white race, due to the fact that many in this minority groups tend to be of poorer health than their white race counterparts (Rich & Ro, 2012). They are also exposed to a variety of negative environmental and social factors which contribute to the death rate among men. Many of them will not have the opportunity to have a quality education, and hence, their chances of succeeding in life are none in several hundreds if not thousands and so to fend for themselves and their families. Such men do not have a chance to live in safe neighbourhoods and the increase in the cases of homicides is a cause for concern as they grow older.
It was observed that in many of the minority households for example an African American set up, the higher the level of income and education a man has attained the higher risk of hypertension, while on the other hand, the higher the level of education and income a women have, the less likely they are to develop hypertension. It is due to the fact that, they are more likely not to get employment as compared to their colleagues of white origin, who may have similar or even lowered educational background. Should they have a good income, they will tend to have lowered levels of wealth, since they take on various roles of provider for their less privileged family members and this is an additional stressfulsituation, since they will be constantly concerned about their own welfare and that of the other people they support (Pamuk, 1998).
Racial discrimination for the minority group is another reason that will have adverse effects on the well-being of an individual. It is an everyday struggle of their lives to prove that they are above the average and rise above the general stereotypes that they are judged by. The male population will undergo higher levels of discrimination than their female counterparts. Just as the society has shaped the female gender as an emotional being, the male gender is one that has been deemed as the stronger sex. This outward shows of strength that has seen lesser men take the initiative to seek medical treatment when they are distressed. All medical sectors prove that men are less likely to visit a medical facility and in most cases until their condition is prolonged and has reached unbearable levels. Therefore, they have higher risk of chronic illness and levels of stress .
Improving the health of the nation is imperative for all the key players in the health sector. While both men and women are prone to mental health illnesses, they do not have the same prevalence. In many cases women are more likely to have mental disorders while in the same light they are more likely to seek medical help. On the other hand, men will not seek immediate medical help, but rather will opt to other modes of relieving stress that will have adverse effect on their health. Since men are not prone to talking about their feelings, since this will be a sign of weakness on their part and they are concerned about their masculinity and the image they portray in public
In the medical field, practitioners spend less time on male patients than on female ones. They will provide them with less service and less advice. They will give them less information and spend less time with them for example on lifestyle choices. Such would be the case, for example, on teaching women how to conduct a self-check on breasts than they would to a male counterpart on testicular conditions.
While growing up there is a significant difference in the raising of a boy to that of a girl. In many societies, the girls are shown more affection than boys. Boys will receive less attention from their parents and form the society around them; boys are not encouraged tobe in touch with their feelings but are told it is not a manly thing to do. Fear and anxiety is present in girls and they are urged to have these emotions. Boys are encouraged to show violence when faced with difficult situation and confrontation is with their fists first. They are brought up to be the providers and hardly take help or assistance and that the failure of his family is solely him to blame.
There are multiple factors that will lead to mental disorders and these should be considered as the medical practitioners seek to find ways for managing or curing their patients. For example, when one is brought up in a negative environment this likely to affect them in a long term basis; When one is faced with violent childhood and this is the only way of life they know, it is difficult to change this view overnight and had the practitioner not had such a history then they would recommend a remedy that would not be considered suitable for them. Health issues will begin at birth and through their early development. When children are exposed to poor conditions they have stacks against them it will see them not have a chance to better them due to the life they are exposed to. However, the satiation will be different for men and women.
Women, who have been sexually abused are more likely to seek help rather than their male counterparts in a similar situation. For women the society is more tolerable to the fact that they have faced this but for a man the society is not quite sure how to handle the situation. This reasons why men have a higher suicide rate since their methods of coping are not beneficial to them. Many will turn to drug use and alcohol to try and block the trauma. Medical practitioners and other professionals involved in the wellness and research into the mental well-being of a society should make it possible for those facing such a difficult situation to have a way of coping without them feeling that tier masculinity is being questioned. When in such situation, they feel overpowered and will have no defence mechanisms. They are prone to bullying in school and other episodes of violence in life. The economic impact of a nation affects the well-being of those in it. This issue is especially vital for the male population. When they are more economically empowered then their healthwill be better placed. Mental health between men and women is highly determined by the way they have established themselves in the society.
The society should be aware of the implications of various scenarios on the future development of the children into adulthood, and this should enable those concerned with the mental health of the patients, both male and female, realize it is not a one size fit for all and that new policies need to be put in place to ensure the best remedy is given for the situation they are presented with.