White Paper – gooferious

Working Hypothesis: Forcing young adults into therapy rather than the voluntary choice will increase the likelihood of them becoming outstanding members of society.

Purposeful Source Summaries

Stigma as a barrier to recognizing personal mental illness and seeking help

Multiple authors come together to explain what stigma in the mental health community is and why it’s so important to bust this barrier down. Having a mental illness is not uncommon yet many people don’t realize they could have one. Recognizing one’s own mental illness however could be clouded due to the lack of knowledge regarding mental health, prejudice and discrimination. Stigma is defined as a mark of disgrace upon a person or group. Stigma has been identified as a huge barrier in the help-seeking process. Studies have shown one’s own stigmatizing attitude plays a far more important role for making the decision not to seek help. The complex process for seeking help has been broken down into four steps: 1) Self-identifying as having a mental health problem, 2) Need for treatment, 3) Help-seeking intentions & 4) Help-seeking. One way recommended to start the process is by assessing personal complaints as potential signs of a mental illness.


Facts & Statistics

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), anxiety disorders are the most common forms of mental illnesses. Anxiety disorders effects around 40 million adults/18.1% of the American population. Even though these disorders are highly treatable only around 36.9% of adults receive treatment. Social anxiety disorder has been proven to be equally common among men and women and generally begins around the age of 13. Some treatment options for these mental illnesses include: therapy, medication, alternative treatment and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). TMS creates a magnetic field to induce small electric currents in specific parts of the brain; this method has been tested and is FDA approved.


The developmental course of anxiety symptoms during adolescence

The transition from childhood to early adolescence comes with many new opportunities to become anew yet other dilemmas also arise. This very transition is said to come with low levels of anxiety. However starting around middle adolescence, these levels of anxiety start to increase. Going into young adulthood provides a sense of worry and doubt about one’s abilities. Young adults become insecure with the new higher expectations from adults around them. It has been studied that girls actually have higher anxiety scores than boys; this observation has remained stable throughout all of the teenage years.


Characteristics and one-year outcome of untreated anxiety and depression

A study conducted by the Netherlands Study of Anxiety and Depression (NESDA) with the help from the Composite Interview Diagnostic Instrument (CIDI) could successfully diagnose 743 patients with an anxiety or depressive disorder. Of these patients 43% of them received no treatment. Of the untreated patients: 25% did not perceive a mental problem, 26% perceived no need for care and 49% expressed a need for care that was not met. According to the study, untreated patients with a need for treatment showed equal severity symptoms and disability to those patients that were in fact treated. The untreated patients even expressed a greater sense of loneliness than those patients who did receive treatment.


The Role of a Prescription in Anxiety Medication Use, Abuse and Dependence

In recent years, the need for anxiety prescriptions have substantially gone up. With this increase though comes an increase of nonmedical use of prescriptions. Some examples of nonmedical use of prescriptions include: taking drugs without a doctor’s prescription, a use of the prescription in greater amounts, more frequently or longer than prescribed. Individuals with anxiety disorders are prone to a higher risk of nonmedical use of prescriptions. Other groups of people who can fall victim to this obstacle are men, the younger generation and those apart of the White race. College students who partake in illicit drug use and intoxicated driving are also associated with nonmedical use of prescriptions. The one thing all these groups of individuals can all unfortunately go through is being dependent on these medications after long battles fighting against not using them.

Current State of Research Paper

So far I feel a high level of certainty that I chose a good topic to write about. The research process has been difficult but I’m sure that only means I’m doing what I’m suppose to be doing. While I have had moments where I wanted to give up and start with a totally different topic, I’m actually glad I stuck with this option. I am learning so much more about these mental illnesses that I feel it’s an obligation in a way to try to spread awareness about them. Overall this topic was definitely the right choice for me.

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