Trans-Cultural Mental Health Paper

My interviewee, Mr. Hobbs a Mexican American, had some behaviors that could be considered symptoms of mental illnesses. However, the fact that these symptoms overlaps frequently with those of other diseases have seen the patient take no action for a mental checkup. The patient confessed feeling anxious all the time. This however is a symptom for depression, phobia, panic disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder among others. This anxiety, the patient says is short term and mostly resulting from stress. Since the interviewee is in his 50’s, he confessed that several instances of disorganized thinking, and hallucinations. Although he does not know it, these are great symptoms of schizophrenia.

At first, Mr. Hobbs did not want the interview and as I persisted to talk to him, he got more and more angry and began talking louder and louder while adopting hostile postures. I realized this kind of anger is another symptom of mental illness. My interview succeeded upon my second trial when he said he had misinterpreted my intentions thereby became irritated by my persistence. Self-esteem problems are also evident in Mr. Hobbs as he feels he is not worth being alive as he has no family.

Among the Mexican Americans, Mr. Hobbs said that mental health issues are regarded differently based on subgroup, language spoken, access to mental health care, language and birthplace and acculturation (Marin, H., Escobar, J., and Vega, W., 2006). These factors influence incidence, course, presentation, and treatment of the mental illness. Since most of the signs like depression, anxiety or anger are associated with the poor living standards and low socioeconomic standards of this group, Mr. Hobbs said that mental illness is not perceived as much of a risk thereby no medical health is sought.

Marin, Escobar, and Vega (2006) revealed that Mexican Americans are younger, poorer and less educated compared to the average American. They are also associated with average unemployment rate, are heterogeneous in genetic/race terms, and in legal and acculturation status. Given their differences in race and acculturation, the Mexican Americans also differ in mental illness risks, and other risky behaviors mental issues likely to complicate their illness and treatment like diabetes (science blog, 2004).

The presence of low education and poverty makes the Mexican Americans less likely to seek medical attention let alone the identification of the mental health problem. Additionally, their lifestyle which exposes them to complications like diabetes makes their access to health care worse as they have to prioritize on what to deal with first. In addition, there are lower rates of expressed emotions that make the Mexican Americans impossible to predict d relapse like the Caucasians. Presence of closed Mexican Americans networks also poses the risk of solving their mental and other health problems as they have no contact with other beneficial outside networks.

According to Kwitessential, (2012), Mexican Americans both born in the US are very hard working and arrive in most appointments early enough unlike their counterparts who arrive around 30 minutes late. According to non-US Mexican Americans, arriving on time is considered in appropriate. Mr. Hobbs associated this difference to the difference in cultural diversity. For the foreign-born Mexican Americans, any business meeting must be made two weeks in advance and reconfirmation before the meeting done.

The two groups share value for masculinity in men an nothing should be allowed to tarnish their image. They also value musing and dancing which are considered an essential part of existence. Food is highly regarded for its color, flavors, decoration, and spiced with herbs. The family is the center of social structures and rarely do they maintain open networks hence very silent. In both cases, eye contact is essential especially during face to face conversations.


Kwitessential, (2012). Mexican language culture, customs and Etiquette. Retrieved from

Marin, H., Escobar, J., and Vega, W., (2006). Mental Illness in Hispanic: a review of the literature. Journal of psychiatry online. Vol. 4. Iss. 1.

Science blog, (2004). Immigration and psychiatric disorders. National Institute on alcohol abuse and alcoholism. Retrieved from


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