Native Americans and Mental Health Essay examples

Native Americans and Mental Health Essay examples

Length: 2885 words (8.2 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Term Papers

Open Document

Essay Preview

Many people believe that Native Americans are a disadvantaged group of individuals in many ways. Culturally, in that many of the cultures of the various tribes across the Americas were taken from them by Europeans and their descendants. Socially, in that they are unlike other minorities in the United States because of their extra-constitutional status; and even medically, stemming from the general belief that Natives are at a higher risk for disease than other ethnicities due to tobacco and alcohol use, especially when used together (Falk, Hiller-Sturmhöfel, & Yi, 2006).
Mental illness is an addition to all of the previously listed perceived disadvantages of Native Americans by those of other ethnicities. Many believe that Native Americans are at a higher risk for mental illness than those of European descent. Many also believe that Native Americans have more people suffer from depression than their white counterparts (Stark & Wilkins, American Indian Politics and the American Political System, 2011). There have been studies conducted to test whether or not this is the case, with mixed results. Some studies say that Natives are at a higher risk and others say they are not. This discrepancy makes the answer unclear. If Natives are actually at a higher risk for and have more people suffering from depression than individuals of European descent, the question to ask is, “why?” Several factors play into depression and other mental illness, including biology, social standing, history, family, and any preexisting/comorbid diseases that could contribute to or cause depression.
It is not common knowledge, but people can be genetically predisposed to develop depression during their lives. Depression runs in families. It can be passed d...

... middle of paper ...

Miriam, L. (1928). The Problem of Indian Administration. Maryland, MD: The Lord Baltimore Press. Retrieved from Alaskool.
Rhoades-Kerswill, S. (2013, November 24). American Indian Studies. Retrieved from Online Classroom:
Samaan, R. A. (2000). The Influences of Race, Ethnicity, and Poverty on the Mental Health of Children. Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, 100-110.
Stark, H. K., & Wilkins, D. E. (2011). American Indian Politics and the American Political System. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Walker, C. A. (2001). Native illness meanings: Depression and suicide. Dissertation Abstracts International, 1.
Yellow Horse Brave Heart, M., & DeBruyn, L. M. (2013). THE AMERICAN INDIAN HOLOCAUST: HEALING HISTORICAL UNRESOLVED GRIEF. The American Indian Holocaust, 63.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Stereotypes And Stereotypes Affect The Mental Health Of Different Minorities

- Stereotypes and racism remain present in our society, and will not be going away any time soon. That being said, it is important to know how different forms of racism and stereotypes affect the mental health of different minorities. Not every minority is discriminated against and stereotyped in the same way, which means that minorities may be affected on a mental level differently. Understanding the different affects that racism and stereotypes have on minority groups is important to the values of well being, equality, and a healthy life style....   [tags: Native Americans in the United States]

Term Papers
1051 words (3 pages)

Native Americans and Alcohol Essay

- Native Americans as a whole have been typecast as drunks ever since the coming of the white man’s “fire water.” TS Naimi, MD et al. reports that alcohol is responsible for 11.7% of all American Indian and Alaska Native deaths, compared to 3.3% for the U.S. general population (939). This disturbing discrepancy reinforces the age old notion of the “drunk Indian.” Generalizations aside, is there some truth to this stereotype. Are Indians more likely than other races to be drunks. Of all the races, “Native Americans have the highest prevalence (12.1%) of heavy drinking…A larger percentage of Native Americans (29.6%) also are binge drinkers” (Chartier and Caetano 153)....   [tags: Native Americans ]

Term Papers
2257 words (6.4 pages)

Essay on Native Americans And Its Impact On Our Lives

- Native Americans possess a greatly different spirituality than our culture has today. We have varying beliefs, values, and traditions that we deem as normal. If the current generation had to change its way of life to mimic the natives, there would be several potential benefits for ourselves and Mother Earth. There would be considerable changes in role of nature within our lives, the foundation of relationships, and the meaning of connotation of power that would be the cause of a complete paradigm shift throughout the population....   [tags: Culture, Native Americans in the United States]

Term Papers
1323 words (3.8 pages)

Negative Impact Of Differing Beliefs And Misjudgments On Native American And Spanish Relations

- Negative Impact of Differing Beliefs and Misjudgments on Native American and Spanish Relations The different beliefs that Native Americans and the Spanish had and the misjudgments they had about each other, were key sources for the violent conflict that arose between the two. These differences, and misjudgments by the Spanish can be seen through the stories of the Iroquois Native Americans and the writings of Bartolome de Las Casas. One source of discord between the two groups was there different ways of looking at land itself and how it was to be treated....   [tags: Native Americans in the United States, Religion]

Term Papers
1366 words (3.9 pages)

Mental Illness in Native Americans Essay

- In Sherman Alexie’s novel Indian Killer, there are many characters who struggle with mental disorders. Alexie states “She was manic-depressive and simply couldn’t take care of herself,” this is just one of the mental illnesses suffered in the book (212). Mental disorders are prevalent in the United States. All races are at risk of mental illness. In the article "Mental Health and Substance Abuse Characteristics Among a Clinical Sample of Urban American Indian/Alaska Native Youths in a Large California Metropolitan Area: a Descriptive Study" Daniel Dickerson and Carrie Johnson state “AI/ANs [American Indians/ Alaska Native] between the ages of 15 and 24 have the highest suicide rates in the U...   [tags: stress factors, child abuse]

Term Papers
939 words (2.7 pages)

Essay about The Worth of Native Americans

- ... The physical aspect, is that it hurt their population; the Native Americans that die, the less the culture lives. When you get dependent on something like the mental health help, and you need it, and it’s taken away, you have to learn how to adapt to life without it. That couldn’t be very easy. When living in a world where you are told, and constantly reminded that you will not amount to anything but a Native American, it influences all of the choices that you make. Native Americans were expected to fail; not matter what they did....   [tags: worthless, suicide, overcome, land]

Term Papers
516 words (1.5 pages)

Native American And Alaskan Natives Essay examples

- The framework of the greatness of the United States was built with bone fragments of American and Alaskan Natives. The population, already settled on this lands before the arrival of Europeans, was mistreated, enslaved and their lands were stolen. They were obligated to Policies and treaties that the federal government have been made with the Native American leaders with the promise that the federal government will provide education, health and other basic services to Native communities. Treaties that the majority of the time were violated or not fully accomplished....   [tags: Native Americans in the United States]

Term Papers
1651 words (4.7 pages)

Native American Of The Samish Tribe Essay

- This paper is very important to me, as I am Native American of the Samish tribe, and I’m taking ethnic studies courses in a local college. When I learned about the atrocities committed against Native Americans in the past, it made me sad that nothing could be done about it. When I learned about ongoing nefarious activities against Native Americans, it made me determined to shed light on them to as many people as possible, as we have power to make a difference and to prevent further atrocities. America has continued to be so indifferent to minorities, especially the ones that we took this land from, and that is why I chose to pick this as my topic....   [tags: Native Americans in the United States]

Term Papers
1868 words (5.3 pages)

Native American Youth Essay

- Native American Youth The United States educational system faces a major challenge in addressing the disenfranchisement of youth due to poverty and racism in the schools. The U.S. Census Bureau, 2006 found that “currently about one-quarter of Blacks, Hispanics, and Native Americans are living in poverty in the U.S. compared to less than 10% of Asian Americans or Whites.” (Hughes et al. 2010, p. 2) Hughes, Newkirk & Stenhjem (2010) identified the stressors children living in poverty faced caused young adolescents to suffer mental and physical health issues which resulted in anxiety, hypertension, fear and depression....   [tags: Native Americans ]

Term Papers
1760 words (5 pages)

The Native American Church, Peyote, And Health : Expanding Consciousness For Healing Purposes

- In his article “The Native American Church, Peyote, and Health: Expanding Consciousness for Healing Purposes,” Jones (2007) reports the significance of the use of Peyote with the Native American Church. Jones breaks down the reasoning behind the use of this known hallucinogen known as peyote in their pan- Indian religious tradition. The Native American Church believes this allows one to expand their consciousness for healing purposes. In order for Jones to explain these significances he first enlightens us with a brief history behind the NAC....   [tags: Native Americans in the United States]

Term Papers
828 words (2.4 pages)