Mood disorders, a growing health concern in many countries, are oftentimes overlooked until they pose serious repercussions. Youngsters who feel pressured from their parents, peers and from societal forces to strive to be perfect or to continually measure up tend to be heavily hit. Some adopt coping mechanisms or become predisposed to eating disorders, depression & other mood disorders that sometimes lead to suicide. Adults likewise grapple with myriad problems and stresses, including worries, failures and ever-increasing work & family demands. It therefore comes as no surprise that mind and mood disorders, which scientists have long believed to arise from chemical imbalances in the brain, are mounting. How the mind functions & responds to external stimuli remains a baffling thing. Yet somehow it comes as no surprise to find suicide cases being inextricably linked to mental health issues, with some sectors citing that society is largely to blame.
Mood Disorders and Interrelated Conditions
Whenever the spate of suicides in recent years crops up in discussions, talk invariably turns to mood/mental disorders. Of the millions of individuals, notably in developed countries like the US, afflicted with depression, only a few seek and get treatment. Many self-medicate, or worse, overdose and add to the fatalities traced to mental health issues. It can be surmised that kids in today’s pressure-laden society turn to prescription medicine and suicide when things get too taxing or when they get bogged down by insecurities – aggravated by lack of an anchoring element like God and family. “Mostly, suffering from any mental disorder such as depression is the main reason behind committing suicide… In a nutshell, there can be many other reasons of or committing suicide. It can be a dysfunctional family, peer pressure, low self-esteem, stress, and access to drugs, guns, or an unyielding desire to make pain disappear. Basically, young people choose to take such a big step when they feel there is no point in going on with life” (Sarfraz, n.d.). In most cases, muddled thoughts, unconscious processes, and the tendency to misinterpret society’s motives vis-à-vis other pressures wreak havoc on some kids’ consciousness. These things drive them to do something that is unthinkable for a more well-adjusted individual – commit suicide.
Young children or adolescents tend to consider suicide as the easiest way to end it all or deal with extreme anxiety which may be caused by rigid parental disciplining styles or from unrealistic demands & expectations they heap on themselves. When things do not go as expected, they may become resentful, bad-tempered or spiteful, or plunge into depression. “Young Black male suicide rates have increased rapidly since the 1980s… suicide is now the third cause of death among African-American males between the ages of 15 and 24” (Thomas 2009). More often than not, clinical depression or some other undiagnosed mental illness triggers suicidal tendencies. It can be noted that being concerned about how other people may judge them tends to make some people, especially young blacks, balk at seeking medical help.
Present society is becoming more and more cold & impersonal; events are happening at an ever-accelerating rate, competition for plum positions at work . When children conclude from watching media and observing their surroundings that life is chaotic (Pierre, 1997, p. 52) or hopeless, it sets the stage for despair and when unchecked, kids/adolescents either unconsciously risk or deliberately take their own lives.
The website on mood disorder by the United States Department of Health and Human Services – Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration or SAMSA’s National Mental Health Information Center (“Mood disorders,” n.d.) is a website which has all the basic facts and statistics on a pertinent subject matter. However, except for blue and the section heading highlighted in orange, there is no other color nor any engaging visuals. The font is small and not quite reader-friendly, although the website packs in all the essential details in a single page.
Marijuana should be legalized in New York State. The main argument put forward in prohibiting people to smoke marijuana is that it is categorized among the dangerous drugs that have been linked with criminality. Possession and use should therefore be limited to those who urgently need it for medicinal or therapeutic purposes, which a qualified doctor may ascertain. Generally, the medicinal purposes far outweigh the foreseen dangers. “Marijuana has proven to be effective in the treatment of people with HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis, cancer, and those suffering from severe pain or nausea… The legalization of medical marijuana would be a step forward for the health of all New Yorkers” (Gottfried, 2006, para. 2).
To a large extent, it can be said that society perpetuates eating disorders. Countless advertisements urge people to indulge while at the same time maintain a fit and sexy body. Magazines, television programs, the internet, and billboards all extol a thin or svelte body as the ideal, and many people tend to base their standards or goals on that ideal. When they fail to attain it, they end up stressed and depressed. Common eating disorders as anorexia nervosa and bulimia may be seen as “manifestations of the Negative Mind” (Pierre, 1997, p. 44). They are closely associated with the telltale signs or symptoms of mental disorder — mood swings, depression, and anxiety. An eating disorder may be resorted to as a reaction to failing relationships or for failing to live up to the so-called ideal. In most instances, “complex thought processes that plague the minds of those with eating disorders” (Pierre, 1997, p. 36) drive them to continually hurt themselves. Eating disorders turn into a mean s of dealing with accumulated stresses. To resolve such issues, professional helpand therapy are sometimes required to help afflicted individuals regain a healthier self-concept.
TV network executives hoping to cash in on people’s obsession with looking perfect have churned out reality shows like “The Swan.” Such television shows focus on altering physical imperfections with the end in view of boosting individuals’ self-esteem and making them love themselves better while elevating their opportunities in life. I think people have gone far with these shows. They emphasize the superficial side of beauty. On the other hand, it is a noted fact that many people with a low sense of self or who are insecure about their physical looks sometimes wallow in self-pity or sink in depression and anxiety, posing risks to their health and well-being.
Mood/mental disorders require tremendous research and investigation, and while scientists have put forth theories to help people understand and deal better with their conditions, the workings of the mind is something that continues to baffle us today.
Gottfried, R. (2006). Medical marijuana overdue in New York. Retrieved June 7, 2009, from http://www.mpp.org/states/new-york/news/medical-marijuana-overdue-in-new.html
Pierre, P. (1997). The secret language of eating disorders. New York: Times Books.
Sarfraz, H. (n.d.). Stop! Life is precious! Retrieved June 8, 2009, from http://jang.com.pk/thenews/apr2008-weekly/us-18-04-2008/p25.htm
Thomas, C. (2009). “Suicide increasing rapidly among young black males.” Retrieved June 7,
2009, from Above: http://diverseeducation.com/artman/publish/article_12245.shtml
United States Department of Health and Human Services. (n.d). Mood disorders.
Retrieved June 7, 2009, from http://mentalhealth.samhsa.gov/publications/allpubs/ken98-0049/default.asp