Is Mental Health Declining In America?

By Izzie • Health, Technology • 8 Feb 2014

Mental health is defined as the psychological state of someone who is functioning at a satisfactory level of behavioral and emotional adjustment. In America, there is a lot of emphasis placed on physical well-being. However, it is important to remember that mental health is just as important as physical health.

Mental health decline is a serious problem in America. In fact, it is estimated that 20 percent of the population is living with a mental illness. Many people with a mental illness never receive the help that they need because they are not aware of their mental state. That is why it is important for people to be able to recognize the signs of mental health decline. Below are some of the signs that a person’s mental health is declining:

  • Dramatic changes in mood
  • Disregard for the welfare of others
  • Exaggerated suspicions or fears
  • Persistent feelings of apathy and lack of motivation
  • Unexplained changes in concentration and memory
  • Dramatic changes in sleeping and eating habits
  • Problems with alcohol and drug use
  • Self-injurious behaviors
  • Changes in logical thinking
  • Erratic behavior changes
  • Feeling detached or disconnected from one’s community or environment

Is The American Lifestyle Contributing To Mental Health Decline?

More Americans are suffering from mental illness than they were in the past. Mental health experts believe that the typical American lifestyle may be one of the key causes of the rise in mental illness. Below are some of the ways that the American lifestyle could possibly be contributing to the rise in mental health problems:

Stress

All stress is not bad. In fact, small amounts of stress can actually be healthy. However, many Americans have way too much stress in their life. In fact, one survey showed that 40 percent of Americans are overwhelmed with stress. One of the reasons people are stressed out is because they have too much on their plates. Many Americans are working long hours and have very little free time. Some people are also balancing raising a family with working, which can add to the stress. Too much stress can make a person more susceptible to developing a mental illness.

Dysfunctional Family Life

Many families today are unhealthy. Domestic violence, divorce, child abuse are all very common. Forming healthy relationships with other people is important to your mental well-being. That is why many health researchers believe people who have a dysfunctional family are more prone to mental illness.

Internet and Television

Americans spend an average of 34 hours a week watching television or surfing the Internet. While these can be enjoyable ways to spend time, mental health experts have found that excessive Internet and television use can contribute to depression and anxiety. People who spend a lot of time in front of the television and Internet have a tendency to isolate themselves from others. The negative images portrayed on Internet and television may also contribute to mental illness. Psychiatrists are trained to deal with mental illness.

About the Author: Anthony Termine MD is a guest contributor and psychiatrist. If you are looking for a psychiatrist in Manhattan, then you should consider contacting Anthony Termine MD.

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