Basically How an Individual Evaluates Themselves

Mental health refers to the stability of persons’ emotional and psychological faculties as well as their capacity to function normally within a social setting[1]
In essence it is basically how an individual evaluates themselves, their lives and the people in their lives. In order to help understand the issue of mental health, I would use Petria Thomas as my study case. The first part of this essay will seek to relate Thomas behavior as concerns mental distress. The other part I will take into consideration factors that contribute to her mental health problems.
There are various causes of mental health problems and this usually varies with individuals. This may include upsetting events in one’s past or present life, specific stresses, anxiety, genetic predisposition and other life events.

In Thomas case, she was stressed. Stress as scientists have learned can affect us over long term periods. What triggers stress for Thomas in this case seems to be the fact that she is separated from her family? The pace of life and the nature of competitiveness associated with the sport she is involved is quite demanding. Psychologists believe that people who are very competitive and perfectionists are more prone to stress. Thomas was faced with the Olympic Games something she had to give her best in.
The stress in her life seemed to have eventually been too much for her to cope. This may have led to other problems as depression and anxiety. According to her story, “she had lost hope, passion and focus in life”. She is also reported to have been “so depressed that she considered hurting herself”. The pain killers she took and in the event ended up overdosing herself were just a demonstration of depression. Too much pain killer just like alcohol is just depressants.
Thomas other cause of mental problem seemed to be anxiety. Anxiety can be defined with relevance to her case as usually “the onset of persistent anxiety with a distressing even such as a physical illness or a period of stress” Thomas had undergone three shoulder reconstructions to help with her injuries. This seemed to be so much for her to bear. She was also dealing with a new situation having moved away from her “happy and close-knit family”. This coupled with the fact that she was still very young (19 years) raised the level of stress in her life and leading to her mental disorder.
Anxiety generally is a wide range of feelings from mild to crippling distress. Her anxiety level had reached a point that had mentally affected her.
One of the risks that threatened to push her to the edge was the fact that her coach wanted to drop her from the swimming team. This to her view was also unbearable having given everything and even separating from her family. Thomas problem of overdosing on non-prescribed pills in the run-up to the Olympic could have been another contributor to her state of mental health.
References
Connie R. Matthews, Elizabeth A. Skowron; Incorporating Prevention into Mental Health Counselor Training. Journal of Mental Health Counseling, Vol. 26, 2004
Elaine Sheehan (2002), Anxiety, Phobias and Panic Attacks: Vega books
Elizabeth R.E, Martha Davis, Matthew McKay (2000), the relaxation and stress reduction
workbook new harbinger.
Randall L. H., Robert C. S., John J. Z.; Mental Health Counselors’
Decision-Making Priorities Related to Inpatient Admissions for Anxiety
Disordered Clients: A Pilot Study.  Journal of Mental Health Counseling, Vol. 26, 2004.
Richard Carlson, Joseph Bailey, (1998), slowing down to the speed of life: how to create
a more peaceful, simpler life from the inside out Hodder Mobius.
Potter & Perry’s Fundamentals of Nursing (Crisp & Taylor, 2005)
Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing (Elder, Evans, & Nizettes 2005)
Victoria E. Kress;  Theory and Practice Submissions to the JMHC: Keeping the “Mental
 
Health” in Mental Health Counseling. Journal of Mental Health Counseling, Vol.
 
28, 2006
 
[1] Randall L. H. (2004)

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New York University
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