Homelessness and Health Conditions

Homelessness and Health Conditions

A Story by lolastewart

Homelessness and Health Conditions


Individuals who live on the streets or in overcrowded shelters experience stress, which is exacerbated by exposure to violence, communicable diseases, harmful weather conditions, and malnutrition. The severe circumstances often worsen their medical conditions as there is no safe place to store medicine; they cannot maintain a healthy diet, and there is no proper assistance for individuals that have behavioral issues such as alcoholism and depression. The paper will focus on various medical conditions that homeless individuals face and establish their causes.

Ear Infections in Homeless Children

The United States has the highest number of homeless children with about one child in every forty-five likely to experience homelessness in a year. There are about 400,000 homeless children in any given day, and approximately 45,000 children turn up in homeless shelters without the company of an adult. Children experience the most adverse impacts because of homelessness as the negative experience is likely to have the consequences that will last over their lifetimes. Moreover, homeless children are four times more likely to get sick. Regarding ear infections, homeless children are twice more likely to have ear infections than other children.

Mental Illnesses and Homelessness

People with severe mental illnesses make up about a third of the homeless population. Serious mental conditions disrupt the ability of an individual to perform essential duties in their daily life such as house chores and self-care. Also, mental illness may prevent a person from forming and maintaining relationships, misinterpret other people’s actions, or react in an irrational manner. Such actions may lead to alienation of family, friends, and caregivers that often keep such individuals from becoming homeless. Consequently, these factors and the stress that arises from having a mental disorder often causes the persons with mental illnesses to be homeless than the other in the general population.

Homeless individuals with mental disorders may also experience issues with their physical health as it often leads to neglect of precautions against diseases. The combination of mental illness and inadequate hygiene because of the homeless situation may expose the persons to skin diseases, respiratory infections, and exposure to sexually-transmitted infections. Substance abuse aggravates their situation. Some of the individuals with mental disorders may use street drugs to self-medicate, which often leads to addictions and transmission of diseases from injection equipment. Admittedly, the combination of mental disorders, poor physical health, and substance abuse aggravates the homelessness as people find it difficult to have a stable residence or get employment.

Mood Disorders and Homeless Individuals

Research indicates that a majority of homeless individuals experience mental disorders. Although the disorders often precede the homelessness, some individuals experience them due to their involvement with chronic homelessness. Also, research indicates that homeless adults are likely to have mood disorders. The most common disorder among homeless individuals is posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It is associated with experiencing distressing events, and it is intensified by the sustained experience, which causes stress and fear. Homeless people experience certain symptoms: recurrent recollection of painful incidents, avoidance of things that bring back memories of the event, and anxiety due to the constant reminder of the trauma. The symptoms are stressful and may lead to high levels of functional and social impairment.

Apart from the homelessness being a traumatic situation, the high prevalence of PTSD in homeless individuals is intensified by various factors such as inadequate support systems, childhood trauma, a history of mental illnesses, and low socioeconomic status. However, the mood disorder is more prevalent among homeless women than homeless men.

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© 2020 lolastewart

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Added on September 16, 2020
Last Updated on September 16, 2020
Tags: writing, health, essay service