What Young Adults Say About Mental Health

Walter van den Broek
February 6, 2012

The problem: young adults have a high prevalence of mental health problems (up to 25% in a year), the usually don’t tend to seek help for these problems. About 78% of American young adults look online for information about health. 18-39% of young adults write blogs or an online journal.

A recent article was published from authors who conducted a qualitative grounded theory analysis of the blogs of young adults (18–25 years of age) who were specifically blogging about their experiences with mental health problems. The researchers did this in order to understand why young adults are particularly unlikely to access treatment for their mental health problems. They wanted to inspect these blogs and online journal to learn the specific beliefs and experiences of young adults with mental illness.

Two core categories emerged from the qualitative analysis of the bloggers accounts: I am powerless (intrapersonal) and I am utterly alone (interpersonal). Overall, the young adult bloggers expressed significant feelings of powerlessness as a result of their mental health concerns and simultaneously felt a profound sense of loneliness, alienation, and lack of connection with others.

Why is this important?

Young adults don’t seek treatment because they have a negative view on the metal health system. The mental health system should educate others more in contact with young adults. They should also create a more welcoming, supportive environments that also facilitate choice in care.

ResearchBlogging.org
Marcus, M., Westra, H., Eastwood, J., Barnes, K., & , . (2012). What Are Young Adults Saying About Mental Health? An Analysis of Internet Blogs Journal of Medical Internet Research, 14 (1) DOI: 10.2196/jmir.1868

 

2 Responses to “What Young Adults Say About Mental Health”

  1. you know how, centuries ago, the best thing you could do to stay healthy was to stay away from a hospital? i feel the same way now, in some sense, about psychiatry. while i have benefited from therapy/skills training, i have had no benefit and much harm from psychiatric drugs. i’m not quite as young as the individuals in the study (but very close), and i feel that staying away from psychiatrists is probably a good plan. anatomy of an epidemic, by robert whitaker, solidified that feeling, which i had experienced for some time before reading the book. i think that if mental health treatment HELPED MORE, more young people would utilize these services.

  2. Liz on February 6th, 2012 at 3:04 pm
  3. Who doesn’t have a negative view of the health care system? Seriously, the mental health system needs to buy a lot of commercials if they are seeking to change these attitudes, just ‘educating people in contact with young adults’ is unlikely to do anything.

    #1 Mental health services are stigmatized by society — you gotta be crazy to go there.

    #2 Mental health profession is effectively a dispensary of anti-depressants and ritalin (for either annoying children or studious students). Diagnostic criteria is so broad and weak that you get what you ask for– you say you are depressed, you get anti-depressants, anxious then anti-anxiety, trouble concentrating then ADHD.

    #3 Given #1, that most people only go there for severe issues, non-drug treatment seems to have little scientifically proven value, compared to no treatment or talking with friends. Hell, shamanistic cultures do better at preventing and curing major disorders.

  4. cynic on February 6th, 2012 at 3:09 pm
  1. you know how, centuries ago, the best thing you could do to stay healthy was to stay away from a hospital? i feel the same way now, in some sense, about psychiatry. while i have benefited from therapy/skills training, i have had no benefit and much harm from psychiatric drugs. i’m not quite as young as the individuals in the study (but very close), and i feel that staying away from psychiatrists is probably a good plan. anatomy of an epidemic, by robert whitaker, solidified that feeling, which i had experienced for some time before reading the book. i think that if mental health treatment HELPED MORE, more young people would utilize these services.

  2. Liz on February 6th, 2012 at 3:04 pm
  3. Who doesn’t have a negative view of the health care system? Seriously, the mental health system needs to buy a lot of commercials if they are seeking to change these attitudes, just ‘educating people in contact with young adults’ is unlikely to do anything.

    #1 Mental health services are stigmatized by society — you gotta be crazy to go there.

    #2 Mental health profession is effectively a dispensary of anti-depressants and ritalin (for either annoying children or studious students). Diagnostic criteria is so broad and weak that you get what you ask for– you say you are depressed, you get anti-depressants, anxious then anti-anxiety, trouble concentrating then ADHD.

    #3 Given #1, that most people only go there for severe issues, non-drug treatment seems to have little scientifically proven value, compared to no treatment or talking with friends. Hell, shamanistic cultures do better at preventing and curing major disorders.

  4. cynic on February 6th, 2012 at 3:09 pm

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