An article published in New Ideas in Psychology hypothesizes that mental health awareness efforts in Western countries may be partially responsible for the rise of mental health problems those countries are experiencing. Psychologists Lucy Foulkes from the University of Oxford in the UK and Jack Andrews from the University of New South Wales in Australia wrote the article.
Foulkes and Andrews argue that the increase in mental health problems in places pushing greater mental health awareness likely involves at least two precipitating factors. First, more people with mental health problems accurately report symptoms that would have been under-reported, ignored, or dismissed if not for greater mental health awareness. Second, some people with mild forms of distress incorrectly interpret their experience as a mental health problem.
According to the authors, the latter case can lead to mental health problems that would have otherwise not existed due to the power of labeling. They write:
“First, we argue that mental health awareness efforts are leading to more accurate reporting of previously under-recognized symptoms, a beneficial outcome. Second, and more problematically, we propose that awareness efforts are leading some individuals to interpret and report milder forms of distress as mental health problems. We propose that this then leads some individuals to experience a genuine increase in symptoms because labeling distress as a mental health problem can affect an individual’s self-concept and behavior in a way that is ultimately self-fulfilling.”
Mental Health Awareness Campaigns May Actually Lead to Increases in Mental Distress
What’s Missing from NAMI and Pro-Psychiatry: A Lack of Lived Experience
By Maria Mangicaro
I believe that advocates who have not experienced psychiatric treatment lack the ability to fully comprehend the suffering many consumers endure from adverse drug reactions.
This is, I think, a moral imperative. The use of all pharmaceutical products really is a “buyer-beware” situation—and since many psych patients become forced consumers, their advocates have a duty to be educated and concerned with adverse reactions.
Duh. My diagnosis was based on Xanax overdoses and trauma
The screening test for depression recommended by the WHO is so poor that for every 100 screened, 36 will get a false diagnosis of depression.
Young adults around the world are suffering from a generational deterioration in social connections with family and friends and a related, significant decline in youth mental health, according to the latest Mental State of the World Report from Sapien Labs.
Compared with their parent’s generation, young people are three times likelier to report poor relationships with their adult family and twice as likely to lack friends they can rely on in times of need – forms of social deprivation that, in turn, affect well-being. As a result, states the report:
“The risk of mental health challenges is ten times higher among those who lack close family relationships and friendships compared to those with many close family and friends.”
The newly released report, citing international online survey results from 2022, notes substantial and increasing disintegration of family bonds across the globe and describes a population “still mentally scarred” by the COVID-19 pandemic, with data showing minimal or no mental bounceback.
“While many factors such as the Internet are likely to contribute to the diminishing Social Self and bonds of family and friendship, one significant factor may also be cultural trends in parenting that trade-off warmth, love, and stability for greater focus on material comfort and accomplishments.”
Deteriorating Relationships and Family Bonds Drive Youth Mental Health Crisis
A new study highlights how mental health professionals’ lived experiences influence their perspectives on mental health. The study, published in Frontiers in Psychiatry, investigates how clinicians’ first-person experiences of depression and their perceptions of their own susceptibility to mental health concerns affect their viewpoints on causes of depression, the connection between depression and burnout, and mental health issues in general.
Researchers found that previous experiences of depression and perceived vulnerability influenced whether clinicians viewed depression as caused by biological or social and psychological factors, as well as whether they viewed depression and burnout as connected or as separate concepts.
The inspiration for the current study was motivated by the significant number of clinicians who have lived experience of struggles with mental health. The researchers, led by Angel Ponew of the Medical University Brandenburg Theodor Fontane in Neuruppin, Germany, write:
“. . . a German study (EKB study) found that over 80% of a self-selected sample of mental health professionals stated to have experienced mental crisis including mental disorders.”
Lived Experience Affects Mental Health Professionals’ Approach