Mental Illness : Mental Health

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Mental Health in America What do you think of when someone brings up the topic of mental health in the country? Many people are influenced by negative stigma and preconceptions associated with mental illness. Those with mental illnesses are all too commonly subjected to these negative stigmas. These views can lead to discrimination, which may be the cause of why those suffering from mental disorders are so poorly cared for and often don’t seek treatment. The Mayo Clinic reports that some harmful effects of these prejudices based on mental illness cause: reluctance to seek help of treatment, lack of understanding from family or friends, fewer opportunities to work, bullying and inadequate health insurance. Imagine this, you pick up your phone to call your local fire department because a fire has begun to engulf your residence. You pause for a while to seek help because what if calling the fire department wasn’t cool and you were expected to deal with the fire yourself? What if it wasn’t safe to call for help? What if calling for help meant that you would get judged? Unfortunately that is the world that many with a mental illness live in. The Stigmas that plague mental illness are not easily overlooked. We still do not understand a lot about mental illnesses and that produces ignorance. We are only beginning to understand these complex illnesses and are still largely ineffective at treating them. It took a long time for the western world for the western world to start thinking of mental illness in a way that was rooted in science. It wasn’t until the 18th and the 19th centuries that we put forth the notion that psychological disorders may be about a sickness of the mind. For example in the 18th century doctors wer... ... middle of paper ... ...e the ACA promises more coverage for those suffering from mental illness, it may stumble for a bit till it can fulfill that promise. Over the years we have made gigantic leaps in mental healthcare. We have learned that mental disorders can be looked at through science and have physiological symptoms. The medical model builds upon this by laying a framework of what to look at, for example genetics and biochemistry. Rosenhan’s experiments proved that even in the 70’s we still had much to learn when it came to diagnosing mental disorders. His experiments helped the field see mental illness as less of a personality flaw and more like something that can be treated such as a broken arm. Advancements continue to be made as psychiatrists and doctors acquire more tool in helping their patients. Of course the patients cannot be helped if they can’t afford the treatment.
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