How Does Social Factors Affect Psychopathology?

1546 Words 6 Pages
Assignment 1
Part One: Influences on Psychopathology
Opening
John Berry of Queens University in Kingston said “although all human societies exhibit commonalities and share basic psychological processes, such underlying commonality are expressed by various groups in vastly different ways, from one time and place to another. Social factors can play a strong influence on all areas of mental disorders. They can influence the diagnosis or classification of mental disorders. They can be a part of the development of the disorders. For researching, social factors can determine what the research looks like, what is researched and how the research dollars are spent. During treatment, social factors would influence the type of treatment the
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One facet of that research has been found that the development of mental disorders can be from bullying during youth. If we consider an example of a young man who had been bullied throughout elementary school and into high school, yet he seemed to be without a mental disorder, once he reaches his later teens or twenties, he develops depression, low self-esteem and anxiety.
Another example of how social factors, in this case, gender, can take part in the development of mental health disorders is anxiety attacks. If we take the case of Tom, a 30 year old man who suddenly started finding he was becoming anxious and afraid of strangers, he couldn’t understand what brought this on. Tom was fine when he went to work, but if he was required be in a situation where there may be people he was unfamiliar with; he would begin feel panicky. Not understanding that this was the probable onset of a disorder, Tom found that he just needed to steel himself for the possible encounter by self-medicating with alcohol. This led to Tom developing into having a drinking problem. This shows a gender difference as women are open to admitting they are afraid of something and potentially seeking out treatment, whereas men are liable to cope with alcohol or other drugs (Stewart, Samoluk, & MacDonald;
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In the first example, of a person from Haiti, even if that person is possibly suffering from a mental illness related to hallucinations or anti-social behavior (sacrificing animals) his family is much less apt to seek for treatment of it as it is a part of their culture. This can possibly lead to a person being chronically untreated for something that would fall into the treatable disorder.
A further example of societal factors is the shame in having a mental illness. If we take the example of a man in their late 50’s that may be dealing with depression, it would be difficult for them to reach out to obtain help from a mental health practitioner because of the social stigma that they would have grown up with that only ‘crazy’ people go to a professional for mental health issues. They still consider it to be a matter of snapping out of it; just get over it, etc. This could lead to severe consequences if the person is not able to move out of the

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