Magazine article Economic Review

Stress and Mental Health

Magazine article Economic Review

Stress and Mental Health

Article excerpt

Departing from the medical model of diagnosis and well established method of treatment, I would like to digress and draw your attention to the social stress which are endured by common man with a remarkable degree of tolerance.

Mental, social and physical well being is defined as Health and not necessarily absence of disease. Mental Health therefore relates to ability to withstand stress of every day life. It depends heavily on the availability of basic human needs like food, shelter, health facilities, education and commuting on one side and equality, justice and freedom on the other. Mental health of a community is therefore dependent on its social organization which determines the attitudes and life style. Such attitudes and way of life may or may not be conductive to well-being of an individual, group or a society.

I will begin with highlighting the mental illness component of this discussion and then go on to stress on mental health. Later we will invite the diagnosticians of social stress from our distinguished panelists.

Quantum of Mental Illness

In the absence of epidemiological data, extrapolating the WHO estimates of mental illness in developing countries, ten percent of population in Pakistan may be suffering from moderate to severe degree of mental disorder. If psychosomatic disorders currently treated by non-psychiatrists, is also included the morbidity would rise to 15% (15 million people) (table 1 & 2). Due to medical model of diagnosis and pharmacological means of treatment, the social maladies are ignored. The relationship of stress to crime, violence, suicide, homicide and quasi-religious practices is not perceived.

For the moment we will leave the ten per cent population needing psychiatric attention, in the hope that depending upon the demands created by the society, they might be taken care of by the psychiatrists, faith-healers and others. I would like to focus on the 25% population (may be much more) which is suffering silently for lack of scientific diagnosis by our social scientists. I would like to briefly present you with their case.

Basic Human Needs

Self Actualization Needs   Self fulfillment, realize potential
Aesthetic Needs            Symmetry, Order, beauty
Cognitive Needs            Know, understand, explore
Esteem Needs               Recognition, gain, competence
Belongingness Needs        Affiliate, belong, accepted
Safety Needs               Security, out of danger
Physiological Needs        Hunger, thirst, sleep
After Maslow

Departing from the medical model of diagnosis and well established method of treatment, I would like to digress and draw your attention to the social stress which are endured by common man with a remarkable degree of tolerance. …

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