Modern life can be hectic and full of pressure, and nowhere is this truer than in the Los Angeles area. Although the California pace is said to be more low-key than other areas of the country, the city of Los Angeles is fast-paced, competitive and always full of challenges for the mind and the spirit. Managing the mental health issues in Los Angeles has become a more pressing problem for mental health agencies and private healthcare professionals in the state.
Mental Health in the Los Angeles Area
A number of mental health conditions commonly occur in the Los Angeles County area, just as they appear in other regions of the country. Depression, anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, obsessive-compulsive disorders and post-traumatic stress disorder are common problems that affect the general population.
In many cases, people in the Los Angeles area may experience a higher rate of depression from financial concerns because of the high cost of living in the area and the desire to make the most of their opportunities in a crowded and competitive environment. Anxiety can also result from these pressures.
Large numbers of people are transplanted from other areas of the country, meaning they may not have the family support available that they need to feel secure and valued as human beings. This lack of support can have a cumulative negative effect that can result in higher stress levels and increased mental health symptoms.
Prevalence of Depression and Contributing Factors
Los Angeles County reports found that depression was significantly more common in women than men.1 The rate of depression was higher in White and Black Americans, with Latinos slightly less prone to have depression. Asian Americans were the least likely to be depressed.
Although some depression is caused by external circumstances, such as job loss or the death of loved one, depressed mood can occur separate from outside events. Research indicates that depression is generally caused by a number of factors, such as genetics, post-traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse problems and unstable personal relationships or home environment. Medications and counseling can be highly effective in the treatment of depression.
Prevalence of Anxiety and Contributing Factors
The National Institute of Mental Health estimates that 18 percent of the U.S. population suffers from anxiety disorders, and 22 percent of these have what could be termed severe anxiety reactions. Anxiety may produce sleep problems, restlessness, muscle tension, irritability, heart palpitations, sweating and shortness of breath.
Some anxiety reactions are a result of life experiences, while others seem to have a genetic component that is unrelated to any particular event. Medication and cognitive-behavioral therapies can often produce improved results in these patients.2
Other Mental Health Issues in the Los Angeles Area
While depression and anxiety are the most common mental health issues in the Los Angeles area, other issues also occur. Obsessive-compulsive disorder, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia appear to have genetic foundations that may triggered by external events. Proper diagnosis and treatment can help these individuals to maximize their effectiveness in their personal and professional lives.
If you live in the Los Angeles area and suffer from depression, anxiety or other mental health problem, contact a professional treatment center that can provide the therapies you need to live a happy and fulfilling life.