Mental health is a rapidly growing concern in America. Too many people suffer from psychiatric disorders such as ADD, Bipolar Depression/Mania, Schizophrenia, ADHD, Anxiety and Substance Dependency. The unfortunate reality is that nothing is being done to identify, treat, and counsel American citizens with mood disorders. Private psychiatrists and psychologists cost upward of hundreds of dollars, yet most of the people at risk of suffering from these disorders are low income Americans. The question then becomes, why do mood disorders commonly affect the poor? To answer this, we must look at the contributing factors that lead to diagnosing psychiatric disorders. More specifically, what is happening in people’s lives that contribute to psychiatric breakdowns? Yes, there are many medical contributors, such as hormonal imbalances in the brain that any M.D. could educate us on. However, I am more interested in the sociological aspect that leads to these problems.
There are many common stressors that can lead anyone to have behavioral changes throughout their life time. With the economy taking a dramatic turn for the worst, it is easy to see how many Americans are starting to feel the financial burden of merely maintaining a home for their families. A single mother of two who works three jobs to barely pay the bills and provide food for her children will naturally feel more anxiety than a household making $100,000 a year. A single income family whose head of household lost a job is at a greater risk for becoming depressed, which, over an extended period of time, may lead to substance abuse. College students who are neck deep in student loans graduating in a time of economic disparity are more likely to feel depressed and discouraged about their ability to find a suitable job. Thousands of Americans are struggling with this reality every day. Most people just turn a blind eye and do not take the time to ask “How can we help these people get the care they deserve?” Often times, people just need a shoulder to lean on, someone they can talk to, express their emotions, desires, and concerns of everyday life.
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So now begs the question, where can these people go for help? Many people who suffer from mood disorders do not know about the low cost or free counseling services in the southern California area. Psychiatric care in San Diego County, Riverside County, and Orange County are easily accessible to those who require short or long term help. I would advise anyone who believes they suffer from behavioral or psychiatric disorders to seek help and remember that there are professionals that do care about your mental health and well-being. Once our society becomes more aggressive in assisting low income Americans, we will see a dramatic decline of behavioral problems contributed from the social inequalities of the lower class.