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jade mcwilliams

on 20 March 2015

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Functionalist Theory
we as humans are seen to interact with, affect and change the environment and the environment is seen to interact with, affect and change us.
(http://www.relatedness.org/depression.html [accessed 18/11/2014])

Within the functionalist approach, development entails the progressive ability to regulate emotions according to the demands of the physical and social worlds
(http://education.stateuniversity.com/pages/1740/Affect-Emotional-Development.html#ixzz3JbicEgrU [accessed 20/11/2014])

Different parts of the society will work together to help the individuals mental health e.g. Mental health nurses, psychiatrists and support groups.

Need to have self analisation to respond to many symbols
Symbolic Interactionism theory within anxiety and depression
Symbolic interactionism theory
Sociology Presentation
By Craig, Aimee, Jade and Bobbie
Functionalism theory within anxiety and depression
Social Model
Functionalism is a Macro-sociological theory which looks at the bigger picture and how society shapes the individual.
The Functionalist perspective is consensus because it looks at harmony in society.
It believes in stability and continuity within society and keeping the considered ‘norms/values’ the same.

Values – These refer to the things in society which people view as important such as the sanctity of human life or the importance of education. Again functionalists believe that there is a shared agreement within society about the aspects of life that are valued.

Consensus – This means that everyone within the society is in agreement about how society should operate
Norms – These can apply to the formal rules (or laws) that govern a society such as laws against theft or violent behavior. From a functionalists perspective there is usually a consensus regarding norms of behavior.


Symbolic Interactionism is an Action Theory but can also be referred to as a Micro-sociological theory. It was found by theorist George H. Mead. It differs from Functionalism as it focuses on how the individual shapes society.

Macro-sociological Micro-sociological

Functionalism Symbolic Interactionism

Three elements looked at in this theory are symbols, self and the actions between individuals. Symbolic Interactionism looks at the actions and interactions of individuals to explain what happens in society. Symbols act as a basis for human interaction in which we rely on i.e. knowing that a wave is a friendly gesture or way of saying hello.
Statistics on People Suffering from Anxiety and Depression in the UK
Anxiety Statistics
Depression Statistics
"A YouGov survey of 2,300 people in the UK in 2014 shown that Financial issues are the cause for half of the people suffering from anxieties problems. Although, on average, women rate their life satisfaction than men, their anxiety levels are much higher than men. 1 in 5 people feel anxious all the time or most of the time. "
(http://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/help-information/mental-health-statistics/anxiety-statistics/ [accessed 20/11/2014])

Interested in the environment and social causes of ill health
Studies the way in which people are born, grow, live, work and age
Shaped by the lifestyle people live such as the amount of money and power people have

(World health organization, taken on 20/11/14)

Social causes of depression
Statistics on Children Suffering from Anxiety and Depression
(http://www.youngminds.org.uk/training_services/policy/mental_health_statistics [accessed 20/11/2014])
3.3% or about 290,000 children and young people have an anxiety

2.2% or about 96,000 children have an anxiety disorder

4.4% or about 195,000 young people have an anxiety disorder
0.9% or nearly 80,000 children and young people are seriously depressed

0.2% or about 8,700 aged 5-10 year-olds are seriously depressed

1.4% or about 62,000 aged 11-16 year-olds are seriously depressed
Brief description on anxiety and depression
- is a fear or panic about situations in life affecting someones day to day life. Studies show 1 in 6 young people will experience an anxiety problem at some point in their lives. Anxiety can cause stress, depression and disturbed sleep. It can also cause someone to feel faint, sick, and stomach cramp.

(http://www.youngminds.org.uk/for_children_young_people/whats_worrying_you/anxiety/what_is_anxiety [accessed 18/11/2014])

- is a chemical imbalance of the brain which affects the mood causing someone to be sad, upset or unhappy. depression can affect someones self-esteem, sleep pattern and their appetite. depression can be a cause of stress, family problems and traumatic experiences, in serious cases it can also lead to suicide.

(http://www.depressionuk.org/depression.shtml [accessed 18/11/2014])

Current Contemporary issues that relates to anxiety and depression

"people of all ages, backgrounds, lifestyles all suffer from major depression."
"Depression affects 1 in 5 older people living in the community and 2 in 5 living in care homes. (Adults In Later Life with Mental Health Problems, Mental Health Foundation quoting Psychiatry in the Elderly, 3rd edition, Oxford University Press, 2002"

Social group most at risk from depression
Woman are most at risk to suffer from depression than men. Mental health.org website states that 29% of woman are more likely to suffer from depression compared to 17% of men. Studies state that this could be because woman are more than likely to open up about symptoms of depression. (Better Or Worse: A Longitudinal Study Of The Mental Health Of Adults In Great Britain, National Statistics, 2003)

"Epidemiology is the study of how often diseases occur in different groups of people and why. Epidemiological information is used to plan and evaluate strategies to prevent illness and as a guide to the management of patients in whom disease has already developed."

It is known that those with poor income or those living in poverty are more likely to suffer from depression and mental health problems.
Both individual and neighbourhood deprivation can contribute as the rates of admission for psychiatric care tend to be higher in deprived areas.
It has been calculated that 58% of children living in poverty are living in a household where at least one parent/adult is working.
Suicide rates sadly increased after the banking crisis that occurred after 2009 as there was an increase in mental health issues within the UK as more individuals became unemployed.


Poverty and Anxiety

Another mental illness that can be caused as a result of poverty would be Anxiety.
Studies show that the poorest mothers are most likely to suffer from Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
Anxiety in individuals is found not to be caused by psychiatric problems but by severe environmental deficits.
Anxiety can create negative thinking, for example if you are having financial problems which have triggered the anxiety, then you may believe that you will suffer from these problems in the future as well which will create more negative thoughts, and so on.

Depression can be caused by many social causes such as
The family environment
The socialization setting
Discrimination against gender in some cultures and instances.
The family environment can be a factor of depression as 30% of all marriage issues, there is one spouse that can be described as clinically depressed. The reason why they might be depressed could be due to their relationship being "characterized by friction, hostility, and a lack of affection"
(Gotlib & Hammen, 1992). http://www.personalityresearch.org/papers/beattie.html

The socialization environment can be a factor of depression as
low levels of social activities
close relationships
family activities
network contact.
These selection of people have a high level of family arguments which would result in being stressed. "Depressed children reported significantly higher level of hopelessness, lower general self-esteem, and lower coping skills than non-depressed children. Their ability to be unable to cope with stress can lead to fewer and less adaptive coping techniques (Asarnow, Carlson, & Guthrie, 1987). http://www.personalityresearch.org/papers/beattie.html

There is a lot of gender discrimination in school settings especially in females.
feminine types of jobs
parents seem to have lower expectations for females when it comes to education.
parents are not seen to encourage their daughters towards high skilled jobs.
push their daughters into the stereotype jobs in society for females.
These include a nurse and a teacher.
Changing this norm in society can lead to depression for females as females could be punished for doing well and this could have an effect on the individual later on in life. In a survey 14-16 year old of females met the criteria of depression while only 3% of males did. This shows there are more concerns that females have in school years. (Nolen-Hoeksema, & Girgus, 1994). http://www.personalityresearch.org/papers/beattie.html

Depression can be cause by our status in life, e.g. how wealthy someone is or if someone was in an unhappy marriage they cant get out of and personal freedom.

Symbolic interactionism focus on the idea of “self-concept”
we develop our interactions and ideas through the ability to put ourselves in the position of others.

The way you are seen in society 1st class, Middle class etc. Student nurses - inexperienced, doctor - life saver, stay at home mum - living of husband.

Finding out who you really are in society within social experience, like race and gender, sexuality this can cause someone to experience anxiety and in some cases depression.

labeling - (not wanting to be labeled as depressed do not accepting help) people that have anxiety or depression may not want to be seen as mentally ill in society and will refuse help.

Did You Know?
Functionalists have argued people have different stress levels depending on the social stratification that they are currently in at that point in time.
Thank you for listening!

Any Questions?
no author . (2014). Sociological Theory. Available: http://sociology.about.com/od/Sociological-Theory/a/Functionalist-Theory.ht. Last accessed 1/12/2014.

no author . (2014). functionalism. Available: http://cnx.org/contents/afe4332a-c97f-4fc4-be27-4e4d384a32d8@7.16:88. Last accessed 28/11/2014.

no author . (2014). what is anxiety . Available: http:/www.youngminds.org.uk/for_children_young_people/whats_worrying_you/anxiety/what_is_anxiety. Last accessed 18/11/2014.

no author . (2014). about depression. Available: http://www.depressionuk.org/depression.shtml. Last accessed 18/11/2014.

no author . (2007). Is depression a real disease. Available: http://www.relatedness.org/depression.html. Last accessed 18/11/2014

no author . (no date ). Affect and Emotional Development - Functionalist Perspectives. Available: http://education.stateuniversity.com/pages/1740/Affect-Emotional-Development.html#ixzz3JbicEgrU. Last accessed 20/11/2014.

no author . (no date ). Structural Functionalism . Available: http://www.citelighter.com/sociology/sociology/knowledgecards/structural-functionalism. Last accessed 08/12/2014.

Gotlib & Hammen, 1992). http://www.personalityresearch.org/papers/beattie.html

(Asarnow, Carlson, & Guthrie, 1987). http://www.personalityresearch.org/papers/beattie.html

(World health organization, taken on 20/11/14)

(Nolen-Hoeksema, & Girgus, 1994). http://www.personalityresearch.org/papers/beattie.html

no author . (no date ). Mental Health Statistics: Men & Women. Available: http://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/help-information/mental-health-statistics/men-women/. Last accessed 09/12/2014.

no author . (2012). how mental illness loses out in the NHS . Available: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/pubs/download/special/cepsp26.pdf. Last accessed 08/12/2014.

no author . (no date ). the poverty site . Available: http://poverty.org.uk/62/index.shtml?2. Last accessed 01/12/2014

no author . (no date ). the poverty site . Available: http://poverty.org.uk/62/index.shtml?2. Last accessed 01/12/2014

no author . (2014). mental health statistics . Available: http://www.youngminds.org.uk/training_services/policy/mental_health_statistics. Last accessed 01/12/2014.

Economic Factor

A report by the center for economic performance's mental health policy state that there is a massive inequality within the NHS. This is the way in which they treat mental illness compared with physical illness. The source states that a person who has depression is at least 50% more disabled than someone who has a physical disability. Only a quarter of patients with mental illness are in treatment, compared to most patients with physical illnesses that are being treated. This article states that 6,000,000 people with depression or crippling anxiety conditions only three quarters of each group get no treatment. The article states by providing more treatments it will generate large savings to the government by increasing employment or improving the behavior of children.

Poverty and Depression

This graph states that people who have a lower income are more at risk of developing a mental illness, therefore more than likely to suffer from poverty. (Poverty.org taken 2/12/12)
Mental health (Care & Treatment Act) (Scotland) Act 2003
This is a legislation which can be used to support a person with a mental illness such as depression or anxiety. This legislation looks at people who have been diagnosed with a mental illness and have the right to make advanced statements. The person should be entitled to the services of an independent advocate and their rights are protected. (taken on 11/12/14 from Scottish Further Education Unit)
Adults with incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000
This act safeguards the welfare and finances and property of adults with incapacity. This must always benefit the adult to promote welfare. (taken on 11/12/14 from Scottish Further Education Unit). This can relate to individuals in society who suffer from Mental Health Illnesses such as severe cases of Anxiety and Depression. It can ensure that there is no financial abuse taking place and the security of their assets.
Community Care and Health (Scotland) Act (2002)
This act supports the individuals to be cared for and supported in their own home/communities. This act is all about values and principles and how they underpin health and social care practice. The individual must have their views taken into consideration before deciding what services should be provided. Young carers have the right to reach their needs by assessment from local authorities. (taken on 11/12/14 from Scottish Further Education Unit) This act is also supportive towards young carers who can also be effected by difficult or upsetting situations which could result in them suffering from anxiety and depression.
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