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To remain healthy, three basic needs – the physical, psychological and social — have to be continually satisfied. If the satisfaction of any of these needs is blocked, stress arises in the individual, which if prolonged often leads to disturbances in mental health. These disturbances are often called “mental imbalance” (i. e. , a state of disequilibrium), or “nervous breakdown” which can be described through a standard nomenclature and classification of mental or psychiatric disorders. How the three basic needs are satisfied change according to the stage of the person’s development.

A one-year old child for example, needs a reliable and consistent mother who will keep him well fed and dry. As an adolescent, he needs parents who will impose some control on his behavior, guide him to distinguish right from wrong and yet allow him to have some degree of independence. As an adult, he needs to establish a meaningful relationship with another person. Regardless of his stage of development, however, the satisfaction of one’s needs is made possible by the interaction of three entities.

These are the individual himself, his family, and his community. The diagram below shows the interaction between the triad of basic needs and the essential entities to satisfy these needs. UP Open University course handouts(after study gudes 1-5). pmd 26 8/26/2011, 10:32 AM 28 Community Mental Health Social Needs This refers to the person’s need to adequately play his multiple roles in society. In the process, he feels that he is an important member of a group, whether in the family, at work, or in formal and informal organizations in the community.

For a child, this need is fulfilled by the assurance that he is a valued member of the family; for an adolescent, by the acceptance as a member of a peer group; and for an adult, by being a productive worker, dependable father and husband, and responsible citizen of the community. The Human Lifespan To help us understand this further, it is necessary to review the human lifespan. The human lifespan can be divided into different stages of development. Each stage presents a biological, psychological and social state. If a person goes through these stages successfully and smoothly, i. e.

Undergo the developmental tasks, then, chances are he may be mentally healthy and stable. On the other hand, should there be a disturbance in any of the stages resulting to non-progression from one stage to another (fixation) or a return to a former stage (regression) then there is a great possibility that a psychological problem or mental disorder may arise. UP Open University course handouts(after study gudes 1-5). pmd 28 8/26/2011, 10:32 AM Course Handouts Table 1. Physical, Psychological and Social Development Among Infants, Toddlers, and Preschoolers Infancy 1 to 15 months Toddler 16 mos to 2 ?

The child now begins to walk and talk. He has also acquired control over his urinary and bowel functions. 29 Preschoolers 3 to 6 years Physical/ biological state The organ systems and the sensorimotor apparatus of the infant are in primitive stages. He is dependent on others for the satisfaction of his physical and biological needs such as food and warmth. His emotional well-being lies in being loved and cared for by those who nurture him. Awareness of his genital area and of his ability to respond to stimulation and excitement. Psychological state

With the acquisition of new skills, the child is made to obey rules set by authority. He begins to tolerate delayed satisfaction of some of his needs. The boy considers his father as a rival for his mother’s love and develops hostility towards the father. The young girl sees mother as a rival and develops hostility towards her. UP Open University course handouts(after study gudes 1-5). pmd 29 8/26/2011, 10:32 AM 30 Community Mental Health Infancy 1 to 15 months Toddler 16 mos to 2 ? yrs Being able to move and communicate with others, the child begins to explore his surroundings but some limitations are made to ensure his safety.

Expectations for self-control are also set upon the child. Preschoolers 3 to 6 years Social situation The infant and mother live in a symbiotic relationship, i. e. , the mother nurtures and responds to the infant’s emotional and biological needs. The infant in turn, because of his dependency, elicits such nurturing attitude. The infant soon recognizes himself as separate from the mother and the rest of the environment. This family romance involves the child and the parents. The parents gradually frustrate the child’s attachment to them.

The child realizes the futility of his desire for the parent of the opposite sex so eventually such erotic desires are given up; the boy will try to become like father, and the girl, like mother. Establishes sexual identity and answers the questions: What are the physical attributes of a man/ woman? What is expected by society from a man/woman? Outcome The child establishes basic trust, feeling secure in his environment, and in those around him that accepts and loves him. The child establishes selfcontrol and autonomy, able to see that he is separate from his environment, and starts to rely on himself. UP Open University

course handouts(after study gudes 1-5). pmd 30 8/26/2011, 10:32 AM Course Handouts Table 2. Physical, Psychological and Social Development in Latency, Adolescence and Youth Latency 6 to 11 years Physical/ biological state Further growth and development but with subdued sexual interests or activities. Adolescent 12 to 17 years Further sexual maturation with appearances of secondary sexual characteristics such as change in voice, spurt in growth, breast development, etc. There is a struggle for independence from parents; establishment of capacity for intimate relationships with the opposite sex; able to control impulses more.