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Cultural Diversity And Mental Health

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Even with different cultures and beliefs, anyone can be affected by a disease or illness the same way. There is no exception to this. Although the difference is how each culture reacts to situations. Especially in mental health, some cultures support the advocacy with visits to therapists and specialists, but there are those who look the other way and deal with their emotions differently.

There are no physical tests available and applicable in finding out a person’s mental health, so doctors rely on what the individual says and what others around him observe from him. This could mean that in the eyes of others, especially to those who don’t believe in mental illnesses, it is just a sign of rebellion or acting out. They also ignore or say the person is just looking for attention, and that doesn’t help at all.

The two main problems with the diagnosis are that, first, manuals are developed by using the North American and European Standards of Psychiatry that can have a conflict with the traditions and beliefs of people residing in that part of the world. Second, the patient may come from a different culture, and he and the practitioner can have different views on things that can affect the treatment process of the individual. The patient might feel unsafe, judged, and uncomfortable with talking to somebody from a different background and would have doubts that he can be cured.

A study has shown that there are different effects of the outcome of curing a patient with schizophrenia. It depends on where the patient comes from, for example, a rural place. Rural nations are set in using rituals and other paranormal methods to cure this type of mental illness. Also, the cure for mental illness can be affected by the support of family and friends, the income an individual has and the availability of treatments in the area.

Also, when referring to human rights and mental health, it has a different meaning depending on which part of the world you are located. It is a hard concept to grasp, but it is a reality.

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Other issues are affecting the cure for a mental illness, especially when it involves families and friends. Some may not understand the person suffering from this illness and make the person feel worse than they already are. Here are the most common stigmas:

Social Status – nowadays, people would do anything to be “in,” and this includes doing things that you feel uncomfortable with just to be accepted by others and this can take a toll on your overall well – being and can be the cause of mental illness.

Gender Roles Expectation – in society, men are expected to be strong and not to show their weakness in front of everybody. This can be hard for a man who has a mental illness for it can be embarrassing to accept the fact that they can be weak and fragile.

Mistrust with Medications – people have issues with drug and think that taking medicine to reduce or eliminate their mental illness can have side effects and can affect them in the long run. They have a lack of understanding about how medications work and expect the worst.

Age – younger people from different cultures are more open-minded in looking for help compared to older people who will not change the way they view mental health.

No Access to Treatments and Therapy – especially in rural areas, it can be hard to find a good doctor and the right treatment center. There is still a lack of access to treatments even in urbanized areas, especially if they don’t believe in the prevention and cure of mental illnesses.

Lack of Specialists in the Area – just like the lack of access to treatments and care facilities, there is still a lack of specialists that can save the day and help with fighting off mental illness.

Beliefs and Spirituality – there is a diversity in religion, and each one believes that they can find their way of curing mental illness. Some people tend to reach out to their church instead of a professional and end up with worsening the patient’s health. Some even perform their rituals for they believe that a demon or an evil spirit is behind this kind of behavior.

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There’s nothing wrong with opening your mind and learning about mental health. There is always a reasonable explanation that is not still because of some entity or just because they are bad people. Whatever your culture or beliefs are, you have to understand that mental illness is not just a made up concept. This is a severe matter that affects anyone and is multiplying.

Anyone can have this problem, and if you are still skeptical, you can always just show your support and set aside beliefs so we can help each other out.

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