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Are People Going Nuts In Rural Areas?

Awareness of mental health illnesses can occasionally become the critical factor in whether or not someone gets the proper treatment in time. Most psychological conditions take time to form and often need time to become fully embedded into the psyche, barring trauma or other similar experiences. As a result, provided that people are aware of what is going on, most psychological illnesses can be treated in time. Most people assume that with the hectic schedules and the extreme stress, people in an urban environment are more liable to develop mental illnesses. This is an understandable assumption, but one must also factor in that in an urban environment, there are numerous places one can go to for help. The case is different when one enters the rural environment, however.

Small towns, out-of-the-way villages, and semi-isolated communities are far more prevalent than big cities. Surprisingly, those are the places where people are far more likely to break down and succumb to psychiatric problems than urban dwellers. There is still a lot of research being conducted on this discovery, with previous studies having yielded inconclusive results. Research has also been focused on discovering whether the list of common problems reflect those found in urban environments or not. In particular, some experts are trying to spot if depression, anxiety, and panic disorders are as common in rural communities as they are in urban ones.

Some have speculated that the problem might stem from the lack of awareness of psychiatric or psychological illnesses in rural areas. Most people there, according to recent findings and surveys, attribute the symptoms of psychosis to supernatural causes. Demonic possession appears to be among the more frequent “causes” of the problem. While currently undetermined, there has been some speculation that the stigma of having a family member be “possessed” can force loved ones to keep the afflicted person hidden from the rest of society, rather than seek some form of help. This can only aggravate the situation because it not only cuts off the patient from much-needed therapy and counseling, it can also make any illnesses already present much more severe and difficult to treat. Another factor to be considered here is that, statistically speaking, there are simply not that many people with psychiatric or psychological training in rural environments. There might be some people that have an understanding, but it is rare to find a small town with a fully-equipped hospital designed to deal with patients with psychological problems. Even for such locations, the asylum often has a highly negative stigma as the place where psychotic serial killers and “crazed middle-aged men that skin little girls alive” are locked up. This only makes the common and prevalent perception of the mentally ill as being criminally inclined much worse in such communities. The lack of facilities and the distance needed to travel to even find psychiatric help can combine to make it nearly impossible to find help in isolated rural towns.

There are also quite a few that surmise that the environment is an equally important factor. The urban environment places pressure on people at an early age, with even children learning the basic principles of cutthroat competition. It is possible that people who have lived in urban environments all their lives simply have psychological make-ups that are better suited for the harsh business world, whereas rural citizens are less likely to have to encounter such situations.


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