Introduction to Psychosocial Well-being

What is Psychosocial?

Nowadays psychosocial problems have emerged as a public concern in Nepal. Research has shown that various circumstances have caused many people to face psychosocial problems. While often these problems are resolved by the people themselves, in some cases, they might need help and support. So, what is psychosocial problem? What are its possible causes? How can we help? When should you seek professional services?

The word psychosocial comprises of two words: psyche and society. While psyche relates to a person’s feelings and thoughts, society is the combination of individuals, families, friends, schools, communities and organizations. Psychosocial embodies the interaction between people’s psyche and the society they live in.

What is Psychosocial Problem?

Just as a person and his or her activities affect society in various ways, the environment and circumstances also affect the feelings and thoughts of people. For instance, when a fight occurs at home or when a drun person shouts loudly, it affects the community. Studies have shown that relatively people suffer more from psychosocial problems in a society with high rates of social discrimination and unemployment.

When a person, or the society he or she lives in, faces various negative events and stressors, they might create imbalance between his or her psyche and the society causing a pscyhosocial problem to appear. A person suffering from psychosocial problems may experience loss of appetite or excessive appetite, insomnia or excessive sleep, preference to stay alone or lack of desire to socialize. Naturally, human beings are capable of coping with these types of problems. If needed, they may seek help from relatives, friends, acquaintances and social workers.

Yet, if these negative effects of psychosocial problems continue for a long time and interfere with the individual’s daily life and daily activities, seeking psychosocial support might be of great help. Community psychosocial workers and counselors are trained to provide required support.

The signs and symptoms of psychosocial problems can be categorized in 4 groups: physical, psychological, behavioral and relationships-related. If you are interested in learning more about them and the ways to improve problems, you can refer to the materials on this website. For more information and help from the experts please contact TPO Nepal.

Dr. Subba on community based psychosocial support

Dr. Subba on psychosocial health situation in Nepal

Causes of Psychosocial Problems

The causes of psychosocial problems could be related to the individual’s personality, social factors, environment, experiences and many other things. The major ones are explained here:

  • Natural and manmade disasters: earthquake, flood, fire, landslide, accident, theft, burglary, war, conflict, violence, torture
  • Genetic and personality related causes: psychological problems in family members, aggression, anger, perfectionism, high ambitions, over-dependence, excessive negativity
  • Circumstances in the family: death of close relatives, health related problems, chronic disease, trouble and quarrel, abuse of alcohol and drugs, and negligence from the parents or an insecure and troubled childhood
  • Marriage related problems: divorce, gender discrimination, inequity, sexual harassment, physical and mental torture and gender related sexual and non-sexual violence
  • Education related problems: learning disabilities, pressure from parents for high performance, high ambition, abuse in the family and school, bullying
  • Social reasons: socialization problems, unsafe and unsupportive community, social and racial discrimination, untouchability, domestic violence, Dowry system, Chaupadi, Jhuma and Deuki systems, accusation of witchcraft, human trafficking, unsafe migration, kidnapping, coercion, threats, inter-caste marriage, unequal marriage, child marriage, polygamy, squatting and living in overcrowded spaces
  • Poverty and work related problems: unemployment, excessive workload, unfair performance review, fear of losing a job, an unsafe work environment, stress at work, difficult relationships with employers and colleagues
  • Long-term medication: contraceptives and medicine for diabetes that might cause hormonal changes which can aggravate psychosocial problems
  • Other reasons: lack of access to healthcare and services, poor access to receive government and non-government earthquake recovery services and resources, legal problems

Signs and Symptoms of Psychosocial Problems

Simply speaking, the symptoms of psychosocial problems can be categorized into four groups: body, mind, behavior and relationships related, which are also known as the four dimensional effects of psychosocial problems in human beings.

For example, the following symptoms may appear in the human body due to psychosocial problems:

  • Heavy-head, headache, stiff body, numbness, immobility of limbs
  • Increased heartbeat, increased respiration, difficulty breathing
  • Dizziness
  • Shock and feeling lost
  • Tiredness and weakness

The following symptoms may appear in the human mind due to psychosocial problems:

  • Excessive worry and anxiety
  • Fear and being startled
  • Anger and irritation
  • Negative thinking
  • Low or lack of self-esteem
  • Remorse and guilt

The following symptoms appear in human behavior due to psychosocial problems:

  • Not eating or overeating
  • Staying alone and an unwillingness to work
  • Insomnia or oversleeping
  • Excessive crying or crying spells
  • False beliefs and suspicion
  • Abuse of alcohol and drugs

The following symptoms may appear in human relationships due to psychosocial problems:

  • Being alone or avoiding relationships
  • Anger or aggression
  • Lack of trust and communication problems

We have to remember that every individual has some skills and abilities to cope with the effects and symptoms of psychosocial problems. In some cases family, friends, neighbors, people in community and organizations help the person in need, in other cases help from a psychosocial counselor, a psychologist or a psychiatrist is needed. If someone constantly suffers from symptoms of psychosocial problems and his or her daily life becomes uncomfortable, service from an expert is recommended. For more information, please explore our website or contact TPO Nepal!