How Do Mental And Emotional Illnesses Affect Social Health?

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, in 2013, 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. suffered from some form of mental illness; that amounts to around 43 million people! In addition, one in 17 people lives with a serious mental illness such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder (NAMI). Just as with physical illnesses, mental and emotional illnesses can be debilitating and affect all aspects of your life—including your social health.

This article will discuss how social health is affected by mental and emotional illnesses—and what we can do about it together.

How Do Mental And Emotional Illnesses Affect Social Health?

Mental and emotional illnesses are closely linked to social health because they directly affect how we interact with others and how we perceive the social world around us. People who suffer from mental illness or emotional trauma typically experience symptoms such as stress, anxiety, or depression that can make it difficult to form social bonds or healthy relationships with others.

Some Negative Impacts of Mental and Emotional Illness on Social Health

Following are some negative impacts of mental and emotional illness on social health:


Studies have shown that untreated depression can often lead to suicide. Depression is a mental health disorder characterized by feelings of sadness, despair, loss of interest in activities that were once enjoyed, weight gain or weight loss without attempts at dieting, withdrawal from family and friends, feelings of worthlessness or self-loathing, difficulty concentrating on tasks. If left untreated, it can lead to harmful behaviors like substance abuse, gambling addiction, excessive shopping or eating.

How Do Mental And Emotional Illnesses Affect Social Health


Mental health issues can lead to a range of debilitating symptoms, including increased levels of stress, depression, suicidal thoughts or actions, headaches, insomnia and many others. People with mental health problems are also more likely to develop other physical health problems like diabetes or high blood pressure. Psychological disorders such as depression may also increase the risk for certain cancers. These chronic conditions often result in fatigue, decreased motivation and worse sleep quality that, makes managing daily tasks more difficult. These types of people remain separate from other people.

Bipolar disorder

Those with bipolar disorder, for example, may feel that the social world can be overwhelming. The hypomania caused by the condition makes it hard to enjoy events or work due to high activity levels; on the other hand, symptoms of depression make it difficult to focus on what’s happening around them. Though there is no cure for bipolar disorder, individuals may have a successful treatment if they can manage their Mental and Emotional Illnesses.

Borderline Personality Disorder

One specific mental health condition that has a negative impact on social health is Borderline Personality Disorder. People with this disorder may often experience intense mood swings, self-image instability, difficulty in trusting others, impulsivity, and anger management issues. This can often cause a person to unintentionally make harsh or malicious comments. These symptoms may also lead to extreme interpersonal conflicts.


What is Schizophrenia? Schizophrenia is a brain disorder that causes hallucinations, delusions, inability to think clearly, manage emotions, and behave normally. These symptoms are often misinterpreted as the person being crazy or acting weird.


Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can be defined as a mental health condition that develops following exposure to a traumatic event or situation. Studies show that as many as 7 in 10 people who go through trauma will experience PTSD at some point in their lives. The emotional and physical response to trauma may result from fear, horror, feelings of helplessness, or feelings of guilt for being able to survive the event.

Asperger’s Syndrome

The ramifications of not understanding social cues can cause serious mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, or obsessive-compulsive disorder. When you have Asperger’s syndrome, it affects your ability to read emotions, pick up on social cues, initiate communication with others and understand nonverbal signals.

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD)

It is estimated that there are 1 in every 68 children born who have an autism spectrum disorder. Unfortunately, those with ASD often have difficulty connecting with others, forming relationships, and staying engaged in the world around them. Most people don’t understand autism as well as they should, and this misunderstanding can lead to discrimination which can result in people not taking steps to help themselves or others learn more about the condition.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

OCD, or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, affects about 2.2 million people in the US, making it one of the most common mental disorders in America. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), symptoms usually start gradually around the age of 14-15. It typically takes time for OCD sufferers to connect their behavior with a potential problem.

Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD)

There is a wide range of diseases that can make it difficult to participate in social settings. One example of this would be body dysmorphic disorder, also known as BDD. People who suffer from this condition experience extreme feelings of dissatisfaction about how they look. They might obsessively check their looks in the mirror, avoid social events where they believe they will be judged based on their appearance, or endure repetitive plastic surgery procedures to permanently change their looks.

How to Control the negative impacts of mental and emotional illnesses on social health?

Mental and emotional illnesses are not only personal struggles but can have a lasting impact on social health as well. Depression, anxiety, eating disorders, PTSD, and other mental and emotional illnesses affect our relationships with friends and family, as well as our overall social health. However, they are not just the individual’s responsibility to fix; everyone has a role to play in promoting social health among those with mental or emotional illnesses and those who suffer from them.

How Do Mental And Emotional Illnesses Affect Social Health

However, most mental illnesses can be effectively treated through therapy, prescription medications, or lifestyle changes that can help put the person back on track to lead a happy and fulfilling life while also improving their social health in the process.

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