Psychological Insecurity and Mental Illness -:
Psychological insecurity expresses as anxiety and depression and in severe cases may result in psychosis, which is a mental disorder. Psychological Insecurity individuals may even attempt suicide.
Anxiety and Depression
During growing up, adolescents also become victims of anxiety and depression.
Anxiety is not abnormal. Everyone gets the feeling of anxiety sometime or the other. Anxiety is an apprehension of something unpleasant or some danger. It causes mental discomfort and pain. It may sometimes prove to be useful, for example, before an examination or competition. But an abnormally high level of anxiety is counterproductive as it distracts and lowers the span of attention. Adolescents sometimes panic out of anxiety without knowing the reason. They may even feel a fear of failure in future. This makes them tense and tired. Anxiety may manifest as a need to get medical treatment for an imaginary sleep disorder or some other physical complaint. It may also manifest as over-breathing (hyperventilation syndrome). Anxiety may even be due to separation from parents or even for having to attend school out of compulsion or due to sex drive. Adolescents may try to get out of anxiety by self-help. The right treatment for anxiety lies in seeking help from parents, teachers, counselors and even friends.
Feeling ‘sad’ or low is common among the adolescents. If the feeling is short-lived there is no problem. But sometimes symptoms of depression show up as social withdrawal, need to weep, eating and sleeping problems, and a feeling of dejection and hopelessness. Depression at times leads to hostility towards parents, society, and peers. ‘Anger’ is sometimes a psychological reaction for fighting depression. If an individual faces pressure, he/she should be empowered to access or seek information, advice, support through appropriate communication from significant adults such as the parents, teachers, elders, relatives, peers, counselors and health professionals. The best way to get out of depression is to engage oneself in various types of physical activities and hobbies.
Psychosis is a medical term for a serious illness in which the patient loses contact with reality. The perception in the patient’s mind has no connection with the reality of the outside world. The quality of relationships declines progressively and contact with others lessens with time in a psychotic person. A psychotic may also suffer delusions and hallucinations in which the patient imagines voices and happenings which are far from real. Psychosis may result from abuse of alcohol and drugs, injury and traumatic events.
Depression and suicidal tendencies often go together. It is unfortunate that often a trivial problem drives a person to commit suicide. The person feels that it is difficult to run away from unhappiness and death can be the only solution. Suicide in adolescents is mostly due to a sense of guilt or failure. Suicidal behavior is usually impulsive. It is attempted to punish the self or a loved one. Often suicide is followed by a quarrel with a loved one. It springs from loss of reasoning, which is usually temporary. For teenagers, or for that matter for everyone, it is important, therefore, to think about the consequences before taking any extreme step. The need is to take care of such adolescents and help them overcome depression. It is the responsibility of the parents to take to the child or consult a counselor if they see any symptoms of depression before it is too late.
Drug or Substance Abuse
Young people are more vulnerable to drug or substance misuse and abuse due to peer pressure, poor self-esteem, low achievement at school or family history of drug or substance abuse. Drugs are chemicals. Some are used for treatment and help in recovery from an ailment. But when drugs are used for purposes other than treatment, their consumption becomes ‘drug abuse’ rather than ‘drug use’. Many a time drugs given for medical treatment are also abused as in the case study given below.
Certain drugs serve no useful purpose; instead, have adverse effects on the body. Drugs such as Marijuana, hallucinogens, and tranquilizers which have an effect on the brain and drive the user into a make-believe world of fantasy and provide false feelings of being free from problems. These are not only addictive but also have an adverse effect on the brain.
Following symptoms of drug abuse are noteworthy.
- Reddening and puffiness of eyes, unclear vision
- Running nose, congestion, coughing, pale face and dark circles under eyes
- Slurring of speech
- Nausea, vomiting and body pain
- Messy appearance, lack of cleanliness
- Drowsiness or sleeplessness, lethargy, and passivity
- Loss of appetite, significant weight loss or gain
- Numerous fresh injection marks on the body, blood stains on clothes, profuse sweating
- Changing mood, temper tantrums, hostility
- Acute anxiety, depression
- Blaming, lying, making excuses, emotional detachment
- Loss of interest in studies, sports and in daily routine
- Impaired memory and lack of concentration
- Secrecy in respect of possessions and actions
- Loss of valuables or money from home
- Withdrawal from the family environment and nonparticipation in family work
- The sudden lowering of grades in school, non-completion of homework, absenteeism
- Nearness of needles, syringes and unusual parcels at home
- More time spent in the personal room, in the bathroom or away from home
Drug abuse in itself is not a cause of HIV and AIDS or other STIs, but under the influence of drugs, people may engage in risky behavior that makes them more susceptible to these infections. Furthermore, substance abuse influences not only the individual but also the family and even the community. The individual who gets dependent regularly loses enthusiasm for different exercises is it school, work or some other obligation. As a result, the addicts are not able to undertake their responsibilities and become a liability to their families. Moreover, it is costly to purchase substances/tranquilizes all the time. Henceforth, in franticness, dependent people might be compelled to participate in unimportant violations. There can never be any need for drugs if one leads a meaningful life with nutritious food, physical exercise, yoga, satisfying occupation, and healthy relationships.
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Mental Illness Psychological Insecurity and
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