In the world in which we live in today there are many issues we all face may it be personal issues or social issues involving a range of people such as employment, unemployment, health care, environments in which we live, these issues may affect us in a personal manner, however, these issues affect us as a society. As a society we tend to be very judgemental and stereotypical towards people we meet in our everyday lives, whether we walk past people and make assumptions or judgements because of their appearance or we simply have strong views and opinions on certain aspects of a person’s life. As a society we should consider the bigger picture and ask ourselves, “Are their specific reasons as to why a person acts the way they do?”. For example, mental health within society is a major issue which many people face whether it be living with mental health yourself or caring for someone with mental health issues and yet people whom suffer from mental health conditions still face stigma within society and one major coping mechanism in which many mental health sufferers use to cope with such pressure is self-harm, which society also has strong views and opinions on, thus, continuing the never- ending cycle.
There are a wide variety of mental health conditions affecting 1 in 4 people in the UK, making mental health a major social issue. There are many diagnoses which come under mental health, for example depression, anxiety, borderline personality disorder, eating disorders etc. Many people living with such health conditions turn to self-harm as a coping mechanism to help ease the pain of their everyday life as it is easier to deal with physical pain than it is to deal with mental pain.
Depression is a major issue within society, affecting one million people within the UK alone. Depression is much more than simply just “feeling sad”, depression occurs when one’s feelings of unhappiness or sadness persists for a significant amount of time such as weeks or months and can affect men, women and children, however, many people do not see depression as being a “real” illness as many people believe people suffering from depression can simply “pull themselves together”, however, this is not the case depression is an illness and can affect so many aspects of our daily lives. For example, many people living with depression may find themselves unemployed due to their condition but also due to the stigma around their illness, thus, causing the person to spiral further into depression as they cannot find work which in turn, causes money troubles. The question which must be considered is, “As a society, are we doing enough to help?”.
Borderline Personality Disorder is the most common personality disorder. Borderline Personality Disorder is a condition which affects a person’s mood and how a person interacts with people and affects how a person thinks, perceives, feels or relates to others. People living with BPD find it extremely difficult to gain and maintain a “normal” relationship with anyone, whether it be in a romantic relationship, friendship or professional relationship. Borderline Personality Disorder also affects many aspects of a person’s life as their condition affects their relationships, thus, causing social exclusion which again in turn, see’s people “lock themselves away” as being alone has become the norm and once again in a never-ending cycle, this does not make it easy for people suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder to gain and maintain relationship. The question which must be considered is, “As a society, are we doing enough to help?”.
Eating disorders are yet again a common mental health issue which also affects a person physically. An eating disorder is considered when a person has an unhealthy attitude towards food by either too little or too much in return causing anorexia and obesity. Eating disorders commonly affect young women aged between 13 and 17, which could be argued, is a result of both peer pressure and the mass media as many young women will read magazines or see pictures of a celebrity and begin to idolize a celebrity’s appearance. Many people do not consider an eating disorder to be connected to a person’s mental health as eating disorders tend to come across as a physical health condition. For example, Bulimia, bulimia is a condition in which a person feels the need to be physically sick once they have eaten to keep the slim, toned figure they desire to have or maintain. Eating disorders again, affect many aspects of a person’s life such as not being able to eat in front of people in a restaurant or at home due to the urge to be sick after eating and this causes great embarrassment for the individual dealing with the condition. The question which must be considered is. “As a society, are we doing enough to help?”.
Although mental health conditions vary, a common result of living with such difficult conditions is self-harm. A vast majority of people living with mental health conditions, understandably, find daily life an immense struggle and as a result, will often turn to self-harming as a coping mechanism or as a way of gaining some release as people can deal with and cope better with physical pain. Self-harm can be done in a number of ways such as, cutting or burning the skin, punching or hitting themselves, overdosing on numerous amounts of tablets, deliberately starving themselves or excessively exercising all of which give a person some sense of relief. The UK has the highest self-harming rate in Europe and it is estimated that 400 in 100,000 people self-harm, however, this can vary as many people whom self-harm, will not tell anyone they self-harm, therefore, it is impossible to give an exact number of people whom self-harm. Self-harm can affect anyone, however, the majority or people whom self-harm are aged between 11 and 25 years of age which we argue is due to peer pressure, stress, relationships breaking or family environment. Self-harm is only a short-term solution to help a person as the underlying issue still needs to be addressed in order for a person to gain recovery if possible but can also cause more worries and issues for a person as society tend to believe that people who resort to self-harm are not ill and that self-harm is just simply a common way of a person gaining any attention which in turn means people who self-harm find themselves excluded from society and find themselves on a continues cycle as not many people within society are not willing to help anyone whom self-harms and with nobody to turn to the answer to help cope is self-harm, it is a long and continues cycle. The question that must be considered is, “As a society, are we doing enough to help?”.