Exploring Common Mental Health Issues in Minority Communities

Mental health is a generally less understood and accepted than physical ailments, and minority communities are particularly underserved. July is Minority Mental Health Month, a time for doctors and community members alike to increases awareness about mental illness in minority groups and to advocate for the development of resources for these patients. If you are experiencing a mental health issue, get emergency care or make an appointment with a physician for treatment. Here is a look at some of the health risks that minority communities face.

Major Depression

Major depression is a serious, chronic condition that causes loss of energy, hopelessness, low self-esteem, and in many cases, physical pain. There is no single cause, but many people living with depression have experienced trauma and loss. There are also differences in the brains of many depression sufferers. Minority populations may experience greater rates of major depression than other groups, but they do not receive treatment at the same rates for a number of reasons, including lack of access to care and community stigmas about mental illness.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

PTSD occurs in the wake of a traumatic event and can cause crippling symptoms. People with PTSD may suffer from intrusive memories, hypervigilance, avoidance, and dissociation. Minority communities are more likely to be the victims of crime and violent discrimination, that can trigger PTSD and cause significant life disruption without treatment, but many people in minority communities do not seek care.

Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety disorders are more than temporarily feeling stressed over a specific event. Instead, an anxiety disorder causes prolonged periods of chronic stress that can use physical and mental health problems. Minorities are vulnerable to anxiety disorders in part because of an instance of discrimination, unequal access to medical care, and cultural stigmas attached to mental illness.

There is no need to suffer in silence with mental illness. Help is available at West Hills Hospital. If you are having thoughts of harming yourself or others, seek emergency care or call our hospital in West Hills for a referral to a physician who can treat mental health disorders. Speak to a nurse and request a referral today by calling (818) 676-4321.

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