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Society has created mental illness.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/15/2018 Category: Health
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 526 times Debate No: 118226
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Society has created norms that everyone should conform to, To be accepted. Anything or anyone not part of these norms is considered unusual, Even though society has created those norms. These shunned people are bullied, Discriminated and overall ostracised from society by society themselves. This exclusion makes these people feel bad about themselves resulting in the development of mental illnesses like depression and anxiety. As they no longer feel they are wanted in society, They result to the only thing they feel is left, Suicide. People don't just kill themselves, There is underlying issues like mental illness that cause them to do it. Mental illness and suicide rates are increasing with 1 in 2 Australians having experienced some type of mental illness. Suicide rates among those aged 15-24 increased from 10. 3 per 100, 000 people in 2007 to 12. 7 in 2016. National Mental Health Commission chief executive officer, Dr Peggy Brown believes that these increases have occurred from societal pressures like social media and body image, Bullying, Stress from school, Getting a job and affording a home.

Social media and body image is one of the biggest causes of mental illness today. Looking at your phone, It's hard to miss a photo of a "picture perfect" instagram model. These models are in no way promoting a healthy and realistic body image as majority of them have had surgery of some type and work out twice a day which is not achievable in today's society. Teens will either subconsciously or not view these images at feel self conscious about their own body because most of us don't look like them. They see that these models are popular as they are getting millions of like on their pictures. They want to look like them and have the perfect body so they resort to starving themselves or forcing themselves to vomit. Anorexia and bulimia affect mainly teens girls but can affect anyone and it is life threatening as not getting the right nutrition can kill you. These eating disorders also come hand in hand with anxiety and depression as you are constantly thinking about what others think of you and how you feel about your body. Society has created these mental illnesses as before the 2000s, Before the first recognizable social media was created, Six Degrees in 1997, These eating disorders were uncommon and unheard of as people weren't constantly exposed to these models. 16% of people in Australia are affected by these life threatening eating disorders and it is continuing to grow as social media models become more popular.


A mental illness is defined as a health problem that significantly affects how a person feels, Thinks, Behaves and interacts with others in the community and is usually diagnosed by a health professional. Although the symptoms can range from mild to severe and are different depending on the type of mental illness, A person left untreated is often unable to cope with life's daily routines and demands. These illnesses can generate severe suffering for not only the people experiencing them, But also their family and friends. Some examples include: anxiety, Depression, Schizophrenia, Bipolar disorder and eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia.
Society is defined as the people of Australia and includes the people of all different ages, Genders, Race and religion and particularly those who use international social media platforms.
This debate will focus on the idea that society has not created mental health issues in Australia, For people of any age or gender but rather by a wide variation of genetic, Psychological and environmental factors that can each influence an individual in different ways.

To begin with, Scientists have discovered that many psychiatric disorders typically run in families which suggests potential genetic roots; they are heritable, Meaning people don"t inherit mental illness but instead inherit genes that make them susceptible to mental illness. It has been well established over time that the risk of mental illness runs in families and that genes play a major role in the wiring of an individual"s brain. This affects the ways in which it reacts to environmental inputs like drugs, Injury or disease. According to the World Health Organization, Mental illness is not a result of just one basic genetic defect but rather the interaction of multiple genes.
In fact, A study in 2013 funded by the American National Institute of Mental Health revealed that a variation in genes that helps regulate calcium into neurons was significantly linked to the development of bipolar, Schizophrenia and major depression. This variation is specifically known to disrupt emotions, Thinking, Attention and memory. These are functions that, If unsettled, Can lead to mental illness. Additionally, The analysers found illness-linked variations in regions of chromosomes that are connected to the predisposition to bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.
This sort of analysis can certainly help doctors in making more accurate diagnoses in the future, And researchers being able to come closer to the roots of particular symptoms. It"s clear that society does not cause hereditary mental illness.

Furthermore, Environmental stressors can greatly contribute to the development of mental illnesses. These can include but are not limited to: a dysfunctional family life, The death of a loved one, Financial issues, Changing jobs or schools, Substance abuse or a relationship breakdown. Stressors such as these can provoke extreme psychological and psychosocial problems which in turn can interact with genetic vulnerability. This then can cause a negative alteration to an individual"s mental health state. Ronald Kessler, A professor of health care policy at Harvard Medical School says that "feelings of pure loss might lead to depressive disorders, While feelings of pure dangers might lead to anxiety disorders. " Other environmental factors such as alcohol or drug dependence can make substance abusers more prone to having a mental health issues too. The vicious cycle may increase the risk of depression and anxiety in some people and is also a major cause of violence and suicidal behaviour according to "Health Direct". Extreme adversity and hardship in one"s environment or lifestyle can be a contributing factor of mental illness.
There is also the idea that psychological trauma from one"s childhood substantially promotes long-term consequences for mental health in adulthood. Adversity in childhood can include experiences such as emotional, Physical and sexual abuse, Significant neglect and the sudden loss of a parent or guardian. It has been shown that exposure to stressful events in childhood can increase the impact of stressful events throughout later life. The 2005 Canadian Community Health Survey suggested that mental health and socioeconomic status can partly explain the association between childhood trauma and the stronger effect of chronic mental illness in adulthood.

Social norms and body image expectations are definitely impacting the lives of people using social media in 2018, In particular teenagers and young adults. With the Australian society"s rapidly growing and popular forms of social media these days, Some may say that these online communication sources are causing many of today"s mental illnesses. It"s fair to say that it is almost impossible to scroll through Instagram without finding at least one picture of a model with an unrealistically achievable body type and physique. However, Isn"t it obvious that seeing just one photo of a pretty model does not immediately make somebody bulimic or depressed? In most cases, A chain of events contributes to somebody acquiring a mental illness. In the day and age we live in, Our society is becoming increasingly more accepting and understanding of the range of body types that exist. Although brands such as Victoria"s Secret still portray the "perfect body type" as tall and alarmingly thin, Popular companies like Target campaign for a realistic range of body figures and advertise for women who are petite to plus sized. Additionally, Body image doesn"t only affect girls. Body image can also affect males" self esteems and their ideas of self worth. But again, A multitude of contributing factors help in someone forming a serious mental health problem.
In 2018, There is such a broad variety of support networks and facilities that focus on helping people with body image and provide the necessary counselling and guidance to overcome mental issues such as anorexia and bulimia.

Mental illnesses clearly produce some of the most difficult and challenging health problems faced by society and is accountable for a vast numbers of hospitalisation, Disabilities and the elevated risk of suicide. It has been thoroughly proven by scientists that genetic, Psychological and environmental factors help in somebody having a mental illness. Even though it is plain to see that social media certainly contributes to mental illnesses like depression and anorexia, Society is not the only thing causing them.
Debate Round No. 1
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