Exploring the Complex Causes of Mental Health Issues in Kenya.
With millions of people suffering from various mental health issues, mental illness is a significant public health concern in Kenya. One in four Kenyans will at some point in their lives face a mental health issue, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). In Kenya, there are many different variables that can contribute to the development of mental illness. These factors include biological, psychological, environmental, and cultural ones. We shall examine mental health in Kenya in this blog article.
1In Kenya, the emergence of mental disease can be attributed to a number of biological reasons. These consist of:
Genetics: From one generation to the next, from a parent to their child, mental disease may be inherited. Specific genes have been linked to an increased risk of mental diseases such as schizophrenia and imbalanced depression. It is important to keep in mind that having a family history of mental illness does not ensure that a person will get the condition themselves.
Mental makeup: An imbalance of some brain neurotransmitters, such as dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine, can cause mental health problems. For instance, lower serotonin levels have been linked to anxiety and sadness. It is essential to keep in mind that not all of these imbalances’ exact causes are known. https://www.afro.who.int/countries/kenya/news/helping-break-mental-health-care-barriers-kenya
Psychological factors .
1In Kenya, mental illness can also arise as a result of psychological factors. These consist of:
Trauma: Experiencing trauma, such as physical or sexual assault, can result in mental health problems, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Trauma can also be defined as other stressful occurrences such natural disasters, accidents, or the death of a loved one.
Chronic stress: This may also have a role in the development of mental health conditions including anxiety and depression. Relationship problems, financial difficulty, and work-related stress are a few examples of stressful situations.
personality:Perfectionism is one personality characteristic that has been associated with a higher risk of mental illness. Additionally, individuals with low self-esteem or a poor opinion of themselves may be more vulnerable to mental health problems.https://publications.universalhealth2030.org/uploads/Kenya-Mental-Health-Policy.pdf
1In Kenya, environmental factors may also contribute to the emergence of mental disease. These consist of:
Poverty: Poverty can lead to a number of stresses, such as unemployment, inadequate housing, and restricted access to healthcare, all of which can help mental health problems to emerge.In Kenya, 36% of people are estimated to be below the poverty line. This is a serious issue because it is well-known that poverty has a substantial role in the nation’s mental health problems. A major issue is poverty.
Drug and alcohol abuse:Abuse of drugs and alcohol are two examples of activities that can increase the risk of mental disease. Furthermore, substance addiction can make existing mental health problems worse. In Kenya, drug use is becoming a bigger problem, particularly among youth.
Social isolation: Being alone and being socially isolated might contribute to mental health conditions like depression. Social isolation can result from a variety of factors, including living alone, having few social connections, and others.
In Kenya, cultural factors may also contribute to the emergence of mental disease. These consist of:
Stigma: People may be reluctant to ask for help because mental illness is widely stigmatized in Kenyan culture. Stigma can be exacerbated by both a lack of awareness about mental health issues and cultural beliefs that portray mental illness as a personal fault or a kind of divine punishment.
Traditional beliefs: Outdated ideas regarding mental illness, such as the idea that it is the product of witchcraft, can increase stigma and prevent people from receiving the assistance they need. For mental health issues, people in Kenya still regularly turn to traditional healers like witch doctors, which could delay or prevent patients from receiving evidence-based therapies.Lack of resources: Kenya lacks qualified medical professionals and the necessary drugs to treat mental illness.Because of this, it may be challenging for some people to get the care and treatment they require.https://www.enableme.ke/en/article/3-reasons-why-kenyan-government-should-invest-in-mental-health-9221
Biological, psychological, environmental, and cultural factors are all significant contributors to the prevalence of mental illness in Kenya. These factors are intricate and varied. A holistic approach is required to address these problems, one that tackles poverty and other environmental factors that contribute to mental illness in addition to increasing public understanding of and funding for mental health issues. By working together, we can enhance the lives of the millions of people affected by mental illness and help to lessen the prevalence of these conditions in Kenya.https://ijmhs.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13033-021-00481-z