Discussion of the Existence of Mental Illness

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Discussion of the Existence of Mental Illness

The feelings and behaviour of the human race are variable to say the

least. Depending upon environmental factors or personal experiences

the same people may range from being happy to sad, feeling sluggish to

being highly active, behaving aggressively or calmly at any time. The

majority of these responses will fit into a perceived range of normal,

as it is appreciated that events can elicit all kinds of emotions, and

comment or concern will generally only emerge when these responses are

judged to be unreasonable in light of individual personal and social

circumstances. Deviations from the norm are recognized when people

indulge in behaviour that is completely at odds with their life or

situation, or when personal suffering is unjustified by any

circumstances. When a person’s behaviour takes such a turn and becomes

so difficult to understand, mental illness is usually inferred.

As mental illness on the whole is a ‘hidden’ condition, it is open to

question, and its’ causes are difficult to define. Any debate over the

existence of mental illness will depend largely on the perspectives

taken and the criteria used to identify it. The varying range of

research done on the topic of mental illness and the differing results

make it relatively easy to justify and substantiate any argument,

regardless of whether or not it supports the existence of mental

illness (Mechanic, 1980).

Causes of mental illness have different implications for different

areas of the social sciences. Politically any emphasis on th...

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