Individual mental health depends on numerous circumstances including social and economic factors, environmental comfort, proper living conditions, and physical health. Furthermore, these factors impact each other as well, especially social and economic peculiarities that may define whether a person can afford certain vital goods. Mental health of people can define their success in the workplace and, consequently, social status and income, since it affects working productivity of individuals and thus determines their career opportunities and threats. The current paper examines the connection and interdependence between social-economic, environmental, and safety conditions affecting mental health of people. Specifically, the paper outlines the correlation between private life and work productivity as well as briefly describes the negative issues caused by the consumption of performance enhancing drugs among professional athletes.
Social and economic status of individuals has been proved to influence their living conditions, access to healthy lifestyle, physical and mental health. Frequently, the latter is associated with psychological condition that determines social and professional capacity of individual according to the established standards and expectations. However, the strategic program of the World Health Organization provides a clear interpretation of how mental health “can be affected by a range of socioeconomic factors [described below] that need to be addressed through comprehensive strategies”.
For example, if a person has high working capacity and is successful in the chosen career, he or she is usually more respected and perspective. As a result, the incomes grow, and this person can afford healthy food, accommodation in environmentally safer area, proper vacation, and general comfortable being (paid taxes, good quality clothes etc.). Along with that, the family condition tends to improve since self-realization leads to better interpersonal communication, as well as increases working motivation and stimulates better productivity which also relates to psychical well-being of a person. In vice versa situation, when low incomes and social status affect private life, they may further decrease motivation and working resultatives.
As for the working interpersonal relationships, in case of positive social and financial dynamics, a person becomes less stressed as his or her incentive along with endorphins increased by strong mental health do not allow to perceive all nuances personally. Contrariwise, when sensitiveness arises, mental and physical conditions deteriorate, leading to exhaustion and frustration. An individual becomes more concentrated on personal problems, conflicts, offences, and domestic issues instead of paying attention to working productivity and professional outcomes. Obviously, stress determines economic growth due to its effects on general health and working capacity of people. Insel reacted to the increasing global tendency of weakened immune system and low stress resistance without performance enhancing drugs, and called mental illness an “equivalent to the cost of cancer care.” Therefore, mental care is frequently a direct consequence of occupation, working conditions, and revenue of people, whose health defines their professional capacity. The situation becomes worse when an employee does not have an opportunity of treatment or vacation. Another negative scenario that may put workers at greater risk is the case when people’s colleagues do not consider them as equal co-workers. If the person believes she or he is naturally not intellectually capable to occupy high career position, their mental health or even physical health can be challenged, especially when working conditions or working interpersonal communication is harsh.
Another important consideration affecting mental health is living conditions. For example, a wealthy family can afford purchasing or renting an accommodation in ecologically safe area with low magnetic fields. Being aware of different threats of electrical devices, these people try to educate and raise children accordingly so as to prevent the consequences such as nervous system disorders, cancer etc. In families experiencing redundant financial burdens, the prerogative is to cover vital expenses, thus the things such as health safety receive less attention. Consequently, social status and poor choice of living area in possibly environmentally dangerous area affects nervous system, physical health, and working ability of individuals.
In terms of workplace productivity, the above issues define the aspects of individuals’ operation and further professional growth. As a rule, those with high social well-being and good revenues work in better companies that provide their employees with medical care and insurance. Depending on the type, difficultness, and stress of the job position, the treatment may include visiting psychologists or team building sessions, offering alternative positions to emotionally exhausted or stressed people etc. Proper employer’s policy towards health and comfortable working conditions of the employees can define their success and the feeling of being an important part of the team.
Another significant issue is professional integration and possible discrimination of individuals suffering mental disorders. For this issue, the National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI) prepared Your Rights Fact Sheet, which applies to the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) – a federal law provided to protect the rights and regulate the duties of employees with disabilities. In this document, authors defined the two items that a mentally disordered individual must demonstrate as his guarantee to employer of own adequacy and working capability. It includes the evidence of psychiatric disability, which is meant “to describe a mental illness that interferes with one or more major life activities” and ability “to perform the essential functions of your job with or without reasonable accommodations”. In turn, comfortable well-being of mentally disordered person and acceptation by other team members can increase his or her productivity rate and motivation.
It should be mentioned that mentally disordered people are more inclined to commit crimes as well as intended or unintended violation reacting to some external irritants. Inn this regard, security measures must include proper conditions and graphic, in which this individual can afford the usage of necessary medicines, dedicate more time for break, or regulate working schedule individually. Sometimes, healthy microclimate can compensate some social and economic disadvantages as it decreases stressful reaction to problems and further escalation of disease. In this context, it is sensible to apply to the concept of safety; however, not the physical but rather psychological one. In certain cases, employees may utilize different preventive and motivating methods including performance-enhancing drugs.
Performance enhancing substances are mainly used with the following purposes: 1) to enhance sport performance and treat sportsman; 2) to enhance working productivity and decrease stress. Such measures may be quite significant if employees experience comparatively high level of stress or occupy the position that requires stress handling skills and pragmatism. In such situation, performance-enhancing drugs must be perceived as a relaxing and anti-stressful tool people use in their career. Anabolic and peptide hormones, beta-2 antagonists, stimulants, diuretics, cannabinoids are the drugs commonly used among sportsmen. They provoke body reaction that stimulates or slows some processes that transform natural body reaction and increase fortitude. Simultaneously, they decrease pain and calm down nervous system making consumers less stressed. However, such substances may provoke negative body reactions such as drowsiness, spontaneous change of mood, slowed reaction etc. In extra cases, a person may experience cardiology problems or bones/muscles work disorders.
Most professional athletes have rather stressful life, their well-being is straightly related to environment and social-economic status, and each of these items has mutual affection. For instance, athletes experiencing stress can afford better quality of life, health care, feeding, vacations etc. They may have better conditions for training like domestic gym, private trainer, relaxing procedures, properly combined diet and rehabilitation programs. Their status, experience, and achievements increase incomes, but they can also induce a desire to resemble other prestigious sportsmen who consume drugs. In this regard, Robinson states that “the use of performance enhancing drugs is not accidental: it is planned and deliberate with the sole objective of getting an unfair advantage”. As a result, the role of sport distorts, with focus being placed not on health, but on winning. In terms of mental health, the usage of drugs can be determined as kind of mental issue as the person may become addicted and truly believe that the drugs and not hard work help to achieve good results.
To conclude, it is evident that numerous factors affect people’s mental health and the way they perform their professional duties. Environmental surrounding, social-economic and working conditions form professional capacity and development. In other words, if a person has well-balanced life in all its aspects, he or she is better motivated since high revenue and healthy working microclimate increase productivity and improve people’s private life as well as living conditions. The same principle applies to sports industry, but in this case, productivity is measured by a person’s capability to do sports at all. It is possible to infer that ethical and legal issues regarding the consumption of performance-enhancing drugs are very contradictive, since these substances may both result in the enhanced productivity as well as cause the unwanted and fatal results by affecting natural processes of human body.