Essay On Mental Illness

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According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) (2013) mental illness is defined as a health condition that changes a person’s thinking, feelings or/and behavior which causes said person difficulty along with difficulty in functioning. Mental illness can be severe in some cases while mild in others, making one appears to not be sick at all. The ones that are severe, displays more explicit symptoms such as confusion, agitation and/or withdrawal. There are many different forms of mental illness such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism depression, schizophrenia and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Each of these mental illnesses alters a person’s thoughts, feelings and or behavior in distinctive ways. For example a person with ADHD has such features as being disorganized, a depressed person experience feelings of worthlessness or inappropriate guilt and a person with schizophrenia may have delusions which is false beliefs such as conspiracies, mind control, or persecution (NIH, 2013). Often society calls for individuals with severe cases of mental illness to be locked away and be out of sight. However sadly in most cases they are locked away in jails or prison. According to Rubin (2010) a seriously mentally ill person in the United States is three times more likely to be incarcerated than hospitalized. This was confirmed by National Sheriffs' Association and the Treatment Advocacy Center who noted in a 2005 report that in no state was a seriously mentally ill person with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder etc. less likely to be incarcerated than hospitalized. This report however showed that there was a wide variation among states. For example in North Dakota a seriously mentally ill person was equally likely ... ... middle of paper ... ...situation under control, which often involves the use of force. Speaking from firsthand knowledge of working with the Connecticut Department of Corrections, I notice that the popular method mental health staff uses is to medicate these individuals then they will start to provide physical treatment such as group sessions and education. This seems to work as the inmates slow down. However I have seen where some seem to improve to a point where their mental level drops and they are return to the general prison population, but shortly after they return to their original state. This will then lead me to question what happens once they are release from prison. The question is answered both from this research and my personal observation, with the inmate simply returning to prison. Without adequate community resources it is my belief that this cycle will never be broken.

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that the united states was on the right path in providing adequate care for the mentally ill until the 1970's when most of these beds were eliminated and occupants of the state run hospitals were transferred to temporary community-based institutions.
  • Explains that schizophrenia and manic-depressives are more likely to be arrested for conduct related to their illness than being placed in a mental health institution.
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