Psychological and Socioculture Casual Factors Associated with Mental Illness
Below I will discuss the psychological and sociocultural casual factors associated with mental illness. To better understand this essay, I will begin by explaining the key terms psychological, sociocultural, and mental illness. Psychological factors are about the human mind and its behavior, in this case, abnormal behavior. Sociocultural factors are how society may shape or label a person’s behavior based on societal standards or environmental/cultural exposures. i.e., the type of home we are raised or religious practice. Lastly, a mental disorder is defined as “a syndrome that is present in an individual and that involves clinically significant disturbance in behavior, emotion regulation, or cognitive functioning (Hooley et al., 2017). I find it important to mention the definition of mental disorder because of the relaxed use of the term today, stressing that is a significant disturbance in behavior, emotion, and cognitive function.
The beginning of psychological influences was studied by Sigmund Freud, the founder of the psychoanalytical school. Freud’s theory is centered around the id, or the, “reservoir of instinctual drives” (Hooley et al., 2017). If a person did not balance the id’s desires, whether knowingly or unknowingly, it would result in abnormal behaviors. Though much of Freud’s theory is no longer relevant today due to better a better understanding of the human mind, there are vital contributions still utilized today. First, some factors related to a person’s abnormality can lie in the subconscious and may be the result of early childhood experiences (Hooley et al., 2017). Hooley (2017) gives the example of a small boy who has who nearly drowned before growing up to have a fear of water. Thanks to scientists like Pavlov, there is a greater understanding of associations like the boy and his fear of water because of Pavlov’s studies on conditioning (Hooley et al., 2017). Secondly, Freud illustrated that the behaviors that are considered abnormal are often coping mechanisms for difficult issues (Hooley et al., 2017). I find both of Freud’s listed contributors fascinating, particularly because of the era it was theorized. The stereotypes of mental disorders have come a long way; for someone to stop and make a point to address other contributing factors to a person’s abnormal behavior during the late 1800s, when it was normal to ostracize them, is incredible.
Another contributor to mental illness is social and cultural influences. The text defines social factors as “environmental influences—often unpredictable and uncontrollable negative events—that can negatively affect a person psychologically, making him or her less resourceful in coping with events” (Hooley et al., 2017). Cultural factors are important because a person’s culture determines how mental illness may manifest itself, if it is genuinely an abnormal behavior in the sense of mental illness or only a different behavior from western culture (Hooley et al., 2017). A social contributor I find most interesting is the affect parenting styles have on children. I find this social factor most intriguing because of the resilience I, and other parents can provide children with an authoritative parenting style. I grew up in a culture where children were not considered disciplined unless they were spanked and validating a child’s feelings was going against the norm. However, Hooley (2017) states that children presented with authoritative parenting are happy, energetic, and less likely to have other emotional disorders as they mature.
Many factors can contribute to mental illness, and sometimes it is more than one factor that is associated. Through early contributors like Freud and Pavlov, psychologists can now predict factors and provide treatment and tips on creating a better environment that lessens the impact and stigmatization that mental illness has on an individual.