Monday, April 24, 2017

Immigrants and mental health

In France, Marine Le Pen, a far-right politician, is near to grab the ticket to the President. It is a nightmare for most immigrants.

It is well known that immigrants have the higher risk of the onset of psychosis. In spite of my limited experience of consulting with immigrants in Japan, I feel it is correct.

Why immigrants are likely to become psychotic is still under investigation. People who keep a close relationship with their original culture are a smaller risk to onset psychosis. It suggests the importance of cultural identity for protecting a person from psychosis.

On the other hand, the evidence is controversial about the influence of discrimination to an immigrant. People who are ethnically discriminated tend to form a strong bond which is potentially beneficial for human mental health. At the same time, feeling isolated is said to be a risk for causing delusional symptoms.

The Conversation: Immigrants suffer higher rates of psychosis – here’s how to start helping them

Another fact is that immigrants have some handicaps before leaving their native country. If they had been satisfied to their birth place, they would not have been immigrants. Some immigrants are concerned with their own health before immigration. Others have no enough money to maintain their health.

After all, excessive stressors are harmful to human' health, as an absolute rule. When a person is strongly discriminated, he or she tend to become aggressive to overcome the present tough situation. Then, internal cortisol is released to raise the resistance level of the body. Cortisol helps your metabolism with increasing the blood glucose as well as making you tolerant to pain. But, continuous exposure to high cortisol level is quite harmful. Uncontrolled stress brings you imbalance of cortisol level, leading to several kinds of diseases, such as diabetics, chronic pain, and psychotic illnesses.

In my conclusion, the best policy to immigrants' mental health is tolerance, with respect for their own culture and providing an option to integrate them to the host culture. The most serious problem is that some politicians are indifferent to the mental health of immigrants at all.

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