Mental Illnesses And Mental Health Stigma

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Mental illnesses come in a wide range of conditions that often affect the mood and behavior of an individual. A few of the most common types of mental disorders are clinical depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, and schizophrenia. Even though it is rare for an individual to develop a mental disorder that actively restricts their lifestyle, society often places a stigma on men and women with these illnesses. The National Alliance on Mental Illness states that only 4.2% of adults in the United States experience a mental illness that “substantially interferes with or limits one or more major life activities.” Because of this social stigma, our society often has a different view of the way these individuals should be treated. In turn, mentally ill patients may turn to violence, drugs, or even both in an attempt to deal with the problems they face. The webcomic collection “better, drawn” gives an inside look at the feelings and problems of those with mental illnesses and exhibits how society deals with the mental health stigma.
Most individuals who suffer from a type of mental illness can live functional lives. These people can often have families and careers just like any healthy person. However, when members of today’s society find out that they suffer from a mental illness such as depression, anxiety, or schizophrenia, they are automatically labeled as mentally unstable and untrustworthy in regards to safety, money, and loved ones (Sanz). This stigma on the mentally ill causes a lack of proper health care from the medical profession, discrimination, difficulty with employment, and criminalization. Depression, for example, is a prevalent mental illness that affects American adults. Accord...

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...oximately twenty percent are veterans.
Discrimination, employment issues, criminalization, and the lack of proper health care are just a few of the main issues that result from the mental health stigma. The mentally ill are already sometimes put at a disadvantage, but the stigma that society places on them makes their lives even more difficult. People with any type of mental disorder should be given equal opportunity in the workplace and should be given the proper medical attention to care for their illness. If these things happen, the mentally ill will be less likely to suffer discrimination and criminalization from being forced to live on the streets or in poverty. All in all, the webcomic collection, “better, drawn” illustrates the results of the mental health stigma by demonstrating the feelings and issues that impact those who suffer from mental illnesses.
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