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Capitalism and Mental Illness: An Investigation of How Our Culture Makes Us Sick

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The purpose of this thesis is to examine the relationship between mental illness and capitalist consumer society. Many Americans are suffering from mental illness and there has to be something

The purpose of this thesis is to examine the relationship between mental illness and capitalist consumer society. Many Americans are suffering from mental illness and there has to be something causing it besides a chemical imbalance in the brain. A capitalist society creates a set of expectations that conflict with human desires. The thesis takes a historical, economical, and psychological approach to answering the following question: Does a capitalist society make its citizens mentally sick? A brief history of capitalism over the past century is discussed, as well as a more in depth look at capitalism and the creation of neoliberalism during the 1980s. The psychological effects capitalism has on human beings is discussed for the majority of the thesis and focuses on ideas from the 1950s as well as the early 2000s. To show the effect capitalism has on modern day society, an analysis of a psychopharmaceutical drug commercial is given. The concluding thoughts attempt to offer solutions to the problems of human unhappiness in a consumer culture.

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  • 2014-05

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Today's Toxicity Tale: An Analysis of Depression Culture and American Society

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Depression is a prominent world disorder. Many prior studies have examined the biological, cognitive, and social elements of depression; however, few studies attempt to examine what role culture plays in

Depression is a prominent world disorder. Many prior studies have examined the biological, cognitive, and social elements of depression; however, few studies attempt to examine what role culture plays in this disorder. If culture plays such a large role in human development, it only makes sense that it would have an impact on a society's depression experience. Furthermore, conformity has been found to play a large role in the behaviors and mood states of adolescents. If conformity holds such control within this population, it is likely that said conformity could be adapted to any decided behavior. Although there has been research conducted on depression, culture, and conformity separately, these concepts are not often looked at in unison. For this reason, the current thesis focuses on the interaction between depression, culture, and conformity by defining depression-culture and depression-conformity, examining the manifestation of these concepts within American society, and analyzing the effects of these concepts.

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Date Created
  • 2016-12

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Access to Healthcare Among Those Experiencing Homelessness: A Depression Screening Project

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Homeless individuals encounter barriers such as lack of health insurance, increased cost of care and unavailability of resources. They have increased risk of comorbid physical disease and poor mental health.

Homeless individuals encounter barriers such as lack of health insurance, increased cost of care and unavailability of resources. They have increased risk of comorbid physical disease and poor mental health. Depression is a prevalent mental health disorder in the US linked to increased risk of mortality. Literature suggests depression screening can identify high-risk individuals with using the patient health questionnaire (PHQ-9).

The objective of this project is to determine if screening identifies depression in the homeless and how it impacts healthcare access. Setting is a local organization in Phoenix offering shelter to homeless individuals. An evidence-based project was implemented over two months in 2019 using convenience sampling. Intervention included depression screening using the PHQ-9, referring to primary care and tracking appointment times. IRB approval obtained from Arizona State University, privacy discussed, and consent obtained prior to data collection. Participants were assigned a random number to protect privacy.

A chart audit tool was used to obtain sociodemographics and insurance status. Descriptive statistics used and analyzed using Intellectus. Sample size was (n = 18), age (M = 35) most were White-non-Hispanic, 44% had a high school diploma and 78% were insured. Mean score was 7.72, three were previously diagnosed and not referred. Three were referred with a turnaround appointment time of one, two and seven days respectively. No significant correlation found between age and depression severity. A significant correlation found between previous diagnosis and depression severity. Attention to PHQ-9 varied among providers and not always addressed. Future projects should focus on improving collaboration between this facility and providers, increasing screening and ensuring adequate follow up and treatment.

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Date Created
  • 2020-05-04

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The Importance of Studying Interactions With Ovarian Hormones: Implications for Depressive Symptoms in Premenopausal and Menopausal Women

Description

The relevance of depression in the clinical realm is well known, as it is one of the most common mental disorders in the United States. Clinical depression is the leading

The relevance of depression in the clinical realm is well known, as it is one of the most common mental disorders in the United States. Clinical depression is the leading cause of disease for women worldwide. The sex difference in depression and anxiety has guided the research of not just recent studies but older studies as well, supporting the theory that gonadal hormones are associated with the mechanisms of emotional cognition. The scientific literature points towards a clear correlative relationship between gonadal hormones, especially estrogens, and emotion regulation. This thesis investigates the neural pathways that have been indicated to regulate mood and anxiety. Currently, the research points to the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, which regulates the stress response through its ultimate secretion of cortisol through the adrenal cortex, and its modulated response when exposed to higher levels of estrogen. Another mechanism that has been investigated is the interaction of estrogen and the serotonergic system, which is noteworthy because the serotonergic system is known for its importance in mood regulation. However, it is important to note that the research seeking to determine the neurobiological underpinnings of estrogen and the serotonergic system is not expansive. Future research should focus on determining the direct relationship between cortisol hypersecretion and estrogens, the specific neurobiological effects of serotonergic receptor subtypes on the antidepressant actions of estrogens, and the simultaneous effects of the stress and serotonergic systems on depressive symptoms.

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Date Created
  • 2021-05