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What is The Leading Cause of Mental Health Problems?


Mental health in the UK


Mental health is something that affects everyone in their lifetime, it is present in every stage of childhood to independence. It changes the way people act, perceive situations, and live their life. It affects people physically and psychologically and is still being researched and learnt about to this day. It is important that people are educated about mental health as it provides us with knowledge to understand ourselves and others and allow us to process why everyone is different. Roughly 1 in 4 people in the UK experience a mental health problem, and in England 1 in 6 people report experiencing a common mental health problem such as anxiety and depression in any given week. Mental health problems among people have not majorly increased over the years however certain causes such as worries over money or jobs have made it harder for people to cope.


The impact of stress in mental health problems


Every individual experiences stress on a daily basis, whether they can cope with this stress determines the fate of their mental health. As an individual grows, they face more stressful situations such as their work life or money. Stress can act as a motivator to encourage people to complete tasks. However, when stress lasts for a long time or intensifies it can start to become a problem and affect our physical and mental health. If an individual experiences a lot of stress it can lead them to develop depression or anxiety. A traumatic period of stress could lead to post-traumatic stress disorder. As much as stress acts as a cause to mental health problems it can also be the outcome of it. Coping with mental health problems can be one of the most difficult stages an individual faces in their lifetime, it is stressful to manage their medication or health care and can be hard to hide it in front of others.


How does trauma play a role?


People may face traumatic experiences in their childhood, some individuals may be able to overcome them however many may suffer with the consequences from it their whole life, and it may affect the way the feel, think and act. Trauma can make someone more vulnerable to developing a mental illness such as PTSD. People who cannot cope with it may turn to substance abuse and may, misuse alcohol to cope with difficult memories from their past. Trauma can cause difficulties in ones daily life, an individual may struggle to trust others or look after themselves, they may have difficulty managing their emotions and react in ways that people are not used to. Trauma cannot only affect someone mentally but also physically and is an important cause of mental illness to be made aware of.


Social isolation is an important cause of mental health problems and can leave us feeling vulnerable and lonely. People who are socially isolated typically lack friends and can suffer from low-self-esteem or anxiety. Being alone occasionally can be relaxing and energise individuals. The lockdown during Covid-19 lead to an increase in mental health problems such as anxiety doubling from 13% to 24%.


An individual is identified through their genes, their DNA makes them the person they are both physically and mentally. Mental health disorders are products of our minds and brains which is made-up of our DNA. Genetic factors can increase the risk of mental health issues or make us more vulnerable to developing them, by reducing the brains ability to deal with or compensate for traumas and other disruptions.


The impact of social media on mental health problems


Social media is growing amongst the younger generation and is used consistently in an individual’s lifetime. Social media is a useful tool for people to socialize and gain friendships making them feel more confident, however it can also be considered a strong cause for an increased risk for mental illnesses. Multiple studies have found a strong link between heavy social media and an increased risk for depression, anxiety, loneliness, and self-harm. Social media can make an individual feel insecure about their appearance as much of the time a high beauty standard is promoted. People also tend to share the highlights of their lives and rarely the low points that they experience. Individuals need face-to-face contact to be mentally healthy, as social media is growing people tend to prioritise social media interaction which can increase the risk of them developing anxiety as they are not used to being in social settings.

Overall, mental illnesses are a growing issue amongst individuals and have many causes. It is important that people become aware of these causes and have the support they need to overcome mental health problems.

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