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WHAT IS MENTAL HEALTH - Essay Example

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The concept of mental health is a difficult issue based on traditional understanding of health and psychology combined with cultural and personal differences of every individual.Intervention settings could range from informal social networks in the community to large state hospitals…
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WHAT IS MENTAL HEALTH
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Mental hygiene is defined as "the science of promoting mental health and preventing mental illness through the application of psychiatry and psychology. A more commonly used term today is mental health" (Mental Hygiene 2007, p. 31524). A therapist is most likely to conceive of psychiatric disorders as having a biological basis and utilize a somatic treatment. Psychotherapists emphasize psychological, or intrapsychic, models of etiology, and prefer psychotherapy as the treatment of choice. These practitioners believe that specific models of etiology are identifiable, as are precise treatment modalities. On the other hand, the sociotherapist is more likely to favor socio-environmental explanations of psychiatric disorders that put aside specific disease models of mental illness in favor of schemes that take into account social processes. In the end, the so-called sociotherapist was supposed to prevail (Bell, 2004).

Many researchers admit that and cultural factors have a great impact on understanding of mental health and wellbeing. In more sociological terms, social indicators do not necessarily supply any insight into the causes of behavior. A does not strictly lead to B, because these or any other social factors are complex processes that do not exist in a vacuum. Variables such as these are mediated by the human presence, because human action cannot be separated neatly from knowledge. However, when the attempt is made to conceptualize social life dualistically, roles, norms, and laws gain a sense of autonomy. These structural factors are not only thought to cause behavior, but serve as a referent for judging normativeness. All cultures, in short, are thought to be underpinned by similar social or psychological laws (Bell, 2004). Consequently, inanimate objects are the focus of attention during intervention activities. Suggested in the previous paragraph, however, is that this modus operandi is insufficient, particularly in terms of a philosophy that stresses community involvement. Data, behavior, and norms, for example, are not neutral indicators. Instead, these and other components of social life have a human texture, which is inscribed by a host of interpretive elements. By this they mean behavior is not something that can be assessed accurately by consulting merely its objective properties. Because the meaning of behavior is interpretive, identifying a social problem is much more difficult than is revealed by the medical model. In short, failure to penetrate the interpretive fabric of data can result in the mindless collection of empirical facts that have little relevance to making a socially appropriate diagnosis (Aitken and Curtis 2004).
Clearly this epistemology elevates in importance cultural factors in distinguishing illness behavior. People, accordingly, can only benefit from this shift in thinking. Cultural norms concerning issues such as tolerance of symptoms, responsibility for care, use of medication, or personal beliefs about illness no longer have to be viewed as anathema to prescribing a sound treatment regimen. The cultural context of a problem should not be an impediment to making an accurate diagnosis, subsequent to accepting the philosophy of community-based intervention. Surely mental illness is embedded within a social context. Almost by definition empirically derived information is insufficient to classify deviant acts. These data are simply empirical, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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