I think most recognize some of the inherent stresses of urban life, especially if you add poverty and racial discrimination to the mix. Of course, there are stresses that exist in rural and suburban settings, but some parts of urban life can be quite hard. Being anonymous in a crowd, the amount of violence, the pace of life, higher cost of living are just a few of these stressors.
So, are those who live in urban settings more prone to mental illness? Some doctoral student in Sweden looked at the association of Schizophrenia, population density, and neighborhood deprivation. What did he find?
Our results therefore suggest that it is not the adverse neighborhood conditions that cause the morbidity. Instead, it seems as if there are familial selection effects that draw high-risk individuals into densely populated/socioeconomically deprived neighborhoods. In other words, the same factors that explain residence in such neighborhoods also explain the increased risks for psychiatric morbidity. link to article here.
Does this make sense to you? Certain factors draw (or keep?) some families in deprived settings and those same factors explain increase mental illness risk? What would these factors be?