1. Mental health is expensive due to the biological, social, and psychological factors involved.
According to the DSM-5, “mental disorders” are defined as:
1. a persistent pattern of behavior that causes clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning
2. a pattern or trait that is not a symptom of a physical disorder (such as an organic illness) but is a core feature of the person’s personality.
According to the DSM-IV-TR, “mental disorders” are defined as:
1. An ongoing disturbance in one’s thinking (mania), feelings (depression), or mood (bipolar disorder).Such disturbances are not recurring and do not have distinct boundaries between episodes or phases; they can be mild or severe, and they can occur alongside other mental disorders such as schizophrenia, psychotic depression, and psychotic mania.
Any one of the following:
(a) A pervasive pattern of mood and behavioral instability manifested by at least four symptoms on any occasion with at least one episode lasting more than one month…This category includes cyclothymic disorder, bipolar II disorder, major depressive disorder with psychotic features (major depressive disorder with psychotic features), dysthymia, and unipolar depression. (b) Choose any of the following:(i) Syndrome of depersonalization/derealization:(ii) Intermittent explosive disorder with depersonalization/derealization syndrome.paranoid schizophrenia (iii)Histrionic personality disorder (iv) —(v) Antisocial personality disorder3. Choose any of the following:(a) Recurrent suicidal ideation and behavior that does not meet criteria for a more serious mental illness; if this does not meet criteria for a more serious mental illness, it is simply characterized by recurrent suicidal ideation and behavior…Any one of the following: Inability to recognize reality, including delusions, hallucinations, illusions… inability to form realistic long-term goals. inability to form realistic long-term goals. inability to make realistic long-term plans inability to make realistic short-term plans. Inability to develop realistic short-term plans Inability to plan realistically. Inability to plan realistically. inability to make realistic plans. inability to make realistic plans. Other Axis I disorders (e.g., panic attacks, agoraphobia, obsessive-compulsive disorder) Other axis II disorders (e.g., separation anxiety disorder, ADHD) Axis III disorders, Axis IV disorders, and no Axis I disorders
2. Biological factors include the brain and its chemistry, which can be expensive to treat.
We know enough about the brain to know that it is an incredibly complex thing. While most people can understand a little about its workings, very few people are able to get inside and understand how it works. This makes it easy for mental health services to be designed around the model of a complicated machine instead of what is perhaps more important: human needs.
If we can’t understand how our brains work, we really can’t help anyone. We hope that this article will help us avoid this trap and provide some well-meaning but deeply flawed perspectives on ways to better understand and serve individuals with mental health problems.
We’ll start by talking about biology and chemistry before moving on to psychology.
3. Social factors include the impact of stress and the environment on mental health.
Mental health is a significant area of concern in the community and the media. There is a good deal of confusion about this, with some people believing that mental health should be treated like physical health. It isn’t the same thing.
A great example of this is seen on billboards advertising “health” products for weight loss. The ads focus on how much money you should spend on being healthy instead of how to find a way to feel good about yourself and find your inner happiness. This is an important distinction which we need to make as it affects not only our approach to marketing but also our understanding of what constitutes “mental well-being”.
Mental Health Disorder (MDD)
MDD is defined by the American Psychiatric Association as a chronic, disabling, and life-long condition in which there are persistent patterns of experiences that lead to distress, impairment, or both that are not associated with normal developmental processes or life experiences. These include: depression; bipolar disorder (manic depression); anxiety disorders (panic disorder); substance use disorders; posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other anxiety disorders (such as social anxiety disorder); eating disorders; drug abuse and dependence behaviors; obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD); premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD); hypomania; posttraumatic stress disorder associated with exposure to sexual trauma or abuse; phobias such as fear of flying or heights; panic attacks or panic disorder associated with clinical levels of hypochondriasis/neuroses/psychoticism/psychoticism/paranoid ideation/schizophrenia/sociopathic personality traits and personality disorders including narcissism; narcissism; and narcissism; personality disorders such as antisocial personality disorder, borderline personality disorder, narcissistic personality disorder, narcissistic personality disorder; and pathological gambling.
Depression can be milder than MDD but still have an impact on daily life, such as a decline in hobbies and relationships.If it becomes severe, it may result in suicidal thoughts or attempts.
Mood Disorders: Major Depressive Disorder Major Depressive Disorder is characterized by a depressed mood for at least two weeks per month for four consecutive months without
4. Psychological factors include the impact of thoughts and emotions on mental health.
In an article for the Stanford Social Neuroscience Blog, I’ve written about different factors that impact mental health. The biggest issue for most people is a lack of social support. It’s hard to be a good person if you are isolated from others — but more importantly, it’s easier to be a bad person if you do not have strong social relationships.
The solution is to find other like-minded people or build relationships with people who share your interests. But this takes time and energy away from your own life—and this means it can be very difficult to maintain healthy relationships.
The second factor is that we are all somewhat unique, with our own personalities and preferences in how we process information, which helps explain why some people do better than others when they hear certain types of information (such as music) or when they see certain images (such as cars).
The intersection of all three of these factors means that there are different ways in which some people have more difficulty processing information than others. which explains why some people seem to be able to deal with stressful situations better than others and why some people seem to handle stress more effectively than others, even though their actual abilities may not differ much from one another (the difference between smart and stupid people being a matter of degree rather than kind).
5. Mental health problems are also expensive due to the stigma surrounding them.
Mental health problems are expensive. In the United States, the cost of mental health care is estimated to be more than $200 billion per year. This may not sound like a lot, but that amount is approximately one-sixth of the total U.S. deficit. Mental illness can be debilitating, and frankly, it can drive some people to suicide or other self-destructive behaviors (which includes a large percentage of our population).
The stigma surrounding mental health is everywhere; we live in a society where many people are quick to judge someone based on one small piece of information (e.g., “He’s a stoner; he’s lazy; he doesn’t want to go to school”). The stigma surrounding mental health is limited because oftentimes the person who has been diagnosed will not go public with their diagnosis for fear of being stigmatized or ostracized by their peers or family members (even though it might come from within themselves).
A recent study conducted by Harris Interactive revealed that 57% of Americans believe that people who express suicidal thoughts should be treated as if they are having suicidal thoughts, even if no clear signs have been observed yet. Also, 73% of Americans think that people with depression should not be treated with antidepressants because they could make depression worse (and 50% believe in “reverse causality”).
These attitudes are very prevalent online as well; people often comment negatively on posts pertaining to mental health without ever actually viewing them! For example, you see some kind of post about someone who has experienced suicide and feel compelled to comment that “they probably would have killed themselves anyway” (without knowing whether this person actually did kill themselves or not), which might make you feel better about your own mortality but comes off as extremely insensitive and ignorant to the person personally affected by it!
We must change these attitudes before we can move past this problem. One way to do so is through education on mental health: taking time out from work to educate yourself about depression can reduce stress and increase productivity—both directly and indirectly—which in turn makes you happier and healthier at work (if you already feel happy at work!). This applies to any profession; although it might seem counterintuitive, there isn’t much difference between a design engineer versus a software engineer or a fashion designer versus an architect—how long will your skills take? Most professions require different skill sets but don’t demand different types.
6. Treatment for mental health issues can be expensive and difficult to access.
The world seems to be a very different place for those with mental illness than for everyone else. It is not just that people with mental illness are more likely to be poor, receive social support from the government and other public services, and live in high-crime areas. There are many other factors that cause this (a much broader sampling of factors can be found here: http://www.columbia.edu/hopper/MPD_broader_contexts_and_causes_of_depression/). The issue of how to treat mental health is expensive and difficult to access, despite the fact that its consequences are often severe and potentially life-threatening.
Because of these issues, there has been a significant increase in the number of mental health services being opened across the world since the late 1990s, but even so, many people still don’t receive proper treatment or follow-up care.
One study found that there were 32% fewer services in 2014 compared to 2002; 1 in 6 people (1.5 million) had never received any outpatient treatment during their lifetime; 5% had received no outpatient treatment within 5 years; 1 in 7 (14%) had never received any follow-up care within 5 years (1 in 4 [46%] had never received any follow-up care within 5 years); 1 in 10 patients were treated only once at all (1 in 12 [15%] had discontinued treatment completely within 5 years; 1 in 10  had discontinued treatment completely within 10 years).
To put this into perspective, it is an enormous amount of money over a relatively short period of time: £2 billion per year across the world, or £30 million per person yearly (source: http://www.oxfamamerica.org/resource/factsheets/mhcfs2014). This isn’t just money spent on treating people on a long-term basis; it’s money spent on finding out what happens to people who have never been diagnosed with a mental illness and who have no access to outpatient care at all—primarily because they can’t afford it at all!
I have written before about ways we can help solve this problem: our work at Oxfam America is focused on helping patients who lack access to quality healthcare find affordable treatments based on their genetic makeup or symptoms they may experience when using our products — simply because they don’t have healthcare coverage anymore. I am happy.
7. Mental health is important to invest in because of its impact on overall health and well-being.
The topic of mental health is a difficult one to tackle. There are many different factors that can contribute to a person’s mental health, and there are also many different ways that people can be affected by mental illness. A common facet of mental health is one’s sense of self-worth and how a person views themselves as well as their role in the world.
The most common way in which people become affected by mental illness is through substance abuse — especially drugs such as alcohol and opioids. These substances can cause serious physical side effects, including overdoses, which can lead to death or dependence on them. Having been exposed to these substances, a person may begin to experience symptoms similar to those experienced by people with various forms of addiction.
The impact of addiction on the body is also very real; physical dependence on alcohol or opioids leads to withdrawal symptoms when the user stops using these substances and also leads to physical deformities when they stop taking them as well (because these medications are very hard to quit).
Though there are many other factors that contribute to a person’s mental health, it is important for us all to ensure that we support our loved ones who have experienced some form of mental illness. The world has developed treatment methods for many types of mental illnesses. However, not all treatment options are available for everyone. If you would like help with your own situation, please contact our Mental Health Help Line: