- Deviance and differences from the norm have implications for identification and treatment of mental disorders.
- Dominance and power: Politics affects individuals' and communities' decision-making regarding drug use, especially alcohol and cannabis, both of which may play a role in suicidal behavior.
- Disease: Negative cultural attitudes toward both mental and other medical illnesses, and also comorbidity, increase suicide risk markedly.
- Death. Religious and other cultural proscriptions against suicide and the acceptance of assisted suicide and euthanasia influence decisions about suicide. Culture bound syndromes for suicide occur in certain countries.
- Dichotomies such as the distinction between mind and body influence treatment and attitudes about mental disorders and suicidal behaviors differently from a holistic perspective.
- Distance, either geographical or emotional, may play a role in suicide. Migration places stresses on minorities in a majority culture.
- Discrimination due to ethnicity, compounded by mental or other medical illness, may play a role in suicide.
- Depression is a major cause of suicidal behavior.
- Discrimination and stigma, and acceptance and support from the community, regarding mental and other medical illnesses influence how persons deal with their disorders and the likelihood that they might end their lives early.
Sofia Amoashiy, MD
Location and Office HoursPeninsula Counseling Center
50 W Hawthorne
Valley Stream, NY 11580
What cultural factors can affect how mental disorders are approached?
Specific cultural factors play roles in how mental disorders are viewed, identified, and treated. For example:
Why is money such a powerful stressor?
Ariel & Shya Kane, Psychology, answered
Some of the things that make money such a powerful stressor are the conflicting ideas about money with which many people have been pre–programmed. These ideas can set people up to have a frustrating relationship with money, rather than ease and a feeling of wealth. Take for instance, the statement, "Money is the root of all evil." You don't want to be involved with "evil" so let's get rid of it! Also there is the idea that "money is hard to come by." So if you make money quite easily it goes against the grain.
If you think that money is hard to come by, if you think that money is difficult for you to acquire, if you think you're not of a class that has money, then your life becomes about either proving that right, or proving that wrong. If you're proving it right, you're poor. If you're proving it wrong, you've got money, but you're still living as though you're poor, because inside your heart you still think there's a vacancy. In this model, you are in constant conflict and always stressed. Our idea is that maintaining well being in your life is an experience of wealth beyond money itself, but it can also include having money, too. When you are satisfied with your life as it is, in this moment, money loses its power over you as a stressor.
How can peer support help me if I have mental illness?
The term 'peer support' is used in the mental health sector to describe a wide range of programs, but at its core is the idea of one mental health consumer giving support to a fellow consumer.
Peer support programs have been shown to produce better healing outcomes and greater levels of empowerment, increases in social functioning, improvements in quality of life and perceptions of physical and emotional well-being, and increased ability to cope with illness. Through peer support programmes, people are able to meet others who they feel are 'like' them, and they often feel a connection with each other and are able to develop a deep understanding based on their shared experiences.
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