What are the Current Issues Affecting Mental Health, and How Can Nurses Combat Them?

There is a wide variety of mental health diseases that influence an individual’s emotions, thinking and behavior. Depression, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, eating disorders and addictive behaviors are a few examples of mental illnesses. Many individuals occasionally experience problems with their mental health. However, a mental health issue turns into a mental disease when persistent symptoms put you under a lot of stress and impair your capacity to do daily tasks. A mental disease may ruin your life and interfere with your relationships, employment or other aspects of everyday living.

Prevalence of mental health disorders worldwide

According to the World Health Organization, in 2019, approximately one in every eight individuals, or a total of almost 0.97 billion individuals worldwide, had some kind of mental illness, especially disorders such as depression and anxiety. Moreover, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the percentage of individuals who suffer from mental health illnesses significantly increased in the year 2020. Initial projections indicate a rise of 28% in anxiety and severe depressive conditions, respectively, in the span of one year. Although there are effective methods for both prevention and therapy, the majority of those who suffer from mental illnesses have no or very little access to them.

Current issues that are affecting mental health

In today’s fast-paced and technology-oriented world – a world in which competition has increased drastically – individuals who fail to tackle such conditions often face severe mental health issues. The following are some of the significant present-day concerns that are affecting people’s mental health.

Economic strain

Economic strain can have serious and enduring effects on a person’s mental wellbeing. Depression, hopelessness, anxiety, frustration and difficulty sleeping are among the mental indicators more prevalent in those experiencing economic strain or financial stress. Medical conditions such as headaches, muscular tension and issues with digestion can also result from economic pressure. Furthermore, the ability of someone to perform well in their private and professional lives might be impacted by financial strain. Financially stressed people may find it difficult to concentrate, decide what to do, or solve issues. They could also feel less confident in themselves and less deserving of respect.

Additionally, relationships may suffer as a result of economic hardship. It can affect marriages and cause disagreements and confrontations with other friends and relatives. Stress over money can also result in social disengagement and isolation, worsening the psychological condition.

Eco-anxiety

Eco-anxiety is a form of stress regarding the prospects for the environment. It can make a person feel fearful, frustrated, helpless, exhausted, stressed or depressed. Even if there is disagreement among medical professionals concerning the precise terminology, everyone agrees that ambiguity and unpredictability are the leading causes of environmental anxiety. The prevalence of eco-anxiety is higher among young individuals. Young adults may perceive the effects of global warming as a more significant threat than older people as they have uncertainty about the future.

Social media also significantly contributes to the rise in environmental anxiety. Social media is increasingly used by almost everyone, but primarily youngsters, to learn about ecological issues. Even if seeing catastrophic events online is not the same as experiencing them first-hand, it can nonetheless trigger the emergence of eco-anxiety.

Technology and social media

Access to mental health care has become more convenient because of advancements in technology, but on the other hand, technology is increasing the prevalence of mental illnesses in general. People are more unlikely to engage in significant interactions with others as a result of the amount of time they spend using technological devices and different social media platforms.

Another factor of using too many technological devices is isolation or a feeling of loneliness. The atmosphere of online interactions is also frequently hostile. Content on the web is a cause of cyberbullying, exclusionary sentiments and social comparison. These detrimental effects increase depression and feelings of hopelessness.

The harmful consequences of modern-day technology also affect our physical wellbeing. Increased time spent on screens can interfere with sleep, mainly if it occurs just before sleeping. Individuals become less physically active the more time they spend using technological devices. Lack of activity and sleep problems both affect mental wellness.

Existential depression

Individuals suffering from existential depression may exhibit symptoms that are comparable to other forms of mental illness. When an individual constantly thinks over their existence and focuses back on events that leave them feeling deeply helpless or unhappy, they are most likely going through existential depression.

Furthermore, when someone examines unanswerable queries concerning existence and life, such as what exactly the purpose of existence is, the causes of suffering in humans, or what might come after dying, finding the significance and the meaning may be challenging for them. An existential crisis might result from looking for explanations for unfairness, hardship and sadness when none exist.

Another symptom of existential sadness is someone asking themselves, “Why me?” After going through a tragedy, a terrible illness, or other experiences that change their lives, they could begin to doubt their own existence. Also, an individual may have a continuing feeling of hopelessness if they find themselves unable to accept over time that some of their queries cannot be answered. They may have continuous existential depression if they are unable to refrain from thinking about the same issues.

Body dysmorphia

Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is currently one of the major mental health illnesses that occurs when an individual is obsessed with a number of imagined imperfections in their physical appearance, a problem that seems inconsequential or is undetectable by others. However, they might stay away from a lot of societal settings because they feel so humiliated, shameful and insecure.

When someone has a condition known as body dysmorphic disorder, they often obsess about their physical appearance and how they look, checking themselves in the mirror frequently, beautifying themselves, or looking for validation – sometimes for hours daily. Perceived defects and repetitious behaviors in people can create great discomfort and have an adverse effect on the ability of individuals to carry out day-to-day duties.

In addition, people who are suffering from body dysmorphia might get into several kinds of surgical treatments in an effort to ‘cure’ their perceived imperfections. Following this, individuals can have momentary relief or a decrease in their level of distress. However, frequently the perceived faults reappear, and the person might start looking for new solutions to their perceived imperfection.

Post-pandemic mental health issues

There was a deep connection between the pandemic and mental health concerns. As we all know, every person in the world has been somehow negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and mental health issues are one of them. Immediately following the pandemic, many individuals reported feeling emotionally disturbed, agitated, sleepless, depressed, and suffering from anxiety and other mental illnesses. The repercussions over time are significant and extensive, affecting anything from behavioral changes such as avoiding crowded environments and careful washing of hands to anxiety, irritation, sadness and symptoms associated with post-traumatic stress disorder. Subsequently, these mental effects may persist for a number of months to several years.

Moreover, social isolation might potentially result in significant increases in domestic assault, drug misuse, depression and anxiety. Long-term social distancing can also lead to social anxiety disorder or other personality disorders. This condition may be made worse by the pandemic’s financial and economic crises.

Additionally, rises in the number of cases of mental health issues have all been linked to financial hardship. Less income, unstable work, joblessness and already present psychiatric conditions appear to be the main predictors of post-recession mental health difficulties.

How to pursue a career as a mental health nurse

There are several prospects for career advancement due to the increased demand for psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners (PMHNPs). The typical PMHNP enjoys a fulfilling career and is well paid. You can obtain these advantages by completing the following stages to become a PMHNP.

Getting proper education is the first step to becoming a mental health nurse. This includes at least a bachelor’s degree in the field of mental health nursing. Four years of study, including general studies classes, are standard for Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) programs. In these programs, students learn the fundamentals of nutrition, developmental psychology and physiology. There are accelerated BSN alternatives available for people changing careers from other disciplines to nursing.

Another better option to help you pursue a career as a psychiatric mental health nurse is to get your PMHNP degree. Currently, Marymount University is offering the best PMHNP programs online that are totally flexible. Individuals who are already busy with their jobs and household chores can study at their own pace, thanks to this online PMHNP degree course.

The second and third steps require nursing professionals to build on their experience as registered nurses and complete their licensing requirements so that they can find well-paying mental health nurse positions in reputable hospitals and healthcare centers.

How nurses help people with mental health issues

The problem of psychological disorders impacts communities all around the globe. There might be a variety of reasons why mental health treatment is still not widely available, such as the negative perception associated with psychological disorders, a lack of access to resources for mental health issues, or inadequate knowledge of potential treatment. There is a critical need for a greater understanding of mental issues and the availability of mental health care in order to meet the psychological demands of people across the nation. According to research, those who suffer from serious mental illnesses such as psychosis, anxiety or depression are more likely to die young as poor mental health is correlated with impaired physical health.

Nurses are essential in the evaluation, diagnosis and treatment of patients with psychological issues. In order to offer individuals complete treatment, nurses work in conjunction with other medical experts, including mental health professionals, psychologists and social service providers. Additionally, nurses observe the symptoms of patients, prescribe medication and offer emergency assistance as required.

Being a nursing professional entails standing up for people who are unable to express themselves and helping to set up those who require support for a healthy, long and fulfilling life. Nursing professionals have the chance to offer one of the most important components of medical treatment – emotional support – along with delivering high-quality treatment in the form of evaluation, treatments and assessment.

By providing a secure and welcoming atmosphere where individuals are freely able to express their ideas and emotions, nurses serve as an additional source of psychological assistance for their patients. Nurses have the ability to give patients the much-needed compassionate care they demand through constructive interpersonal techniques and active listening.

Moreover, nurses need to employ treatments that are based on evidence, psychotherapy and maybe psychopharmacological therapy to effectively treat frequent psychological issues. Routine patient examinations for psychological problems may be part of this treatment, integrating cutting-edge ideas that link mental and physical health.