Essay about The Stigma Of Mental Illness

Essay about The Stigma Of Mental Illness

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The Stigma on Mental Illness
“I was feeling really depressed yesterday.” “She looks so anorexic.” “I’m really OCD about my room.” “My boyfriend is acting so bipolar.” We all hear variations of these sentences daily and may even use them ourselves. Although it is not intended to cause harm to anyone, mental illness should not be phrased as adjectives. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) says that one in five Americans has a mental illness but those seeking help are not taken as seriously as they would be if they were exhibiting a physical health problem. According to the NHS Human Services, “92 percent of people with physical health problems receive the treatment they need, but by comparison, only 26 percent of people with mental health problems do.” There is a lack of access to help those who are mentally ill and because of the stigma that comes with mental health problems, many are afraid to take the first step into recovery.
Mental illness is not so straightforward; there are over two hundred forms of mental disorders. They are classified among categories that include mood disorders, psychotic disorders, anxiety disorders, and eating disorders. Mood disorders involve constant feelings of melancholy or fluctuations from happiness to sadness and are often disregarded because they are confused with normal emotions. Bipolar disorder and depression are the most common mood disorders. Schizophrenia is an example of a psychotic disorder, where the individual has a warped sense of reality and their awareness and thinking is distorted. Hallucinations and delusions are common symptoms of this particular disorder. Anxiety disorders cause people to react to certain situations with fear, in addition to physical symptoms, such as...


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Action needs to be taken to decrease the suicide rates as well as the number of children, teens and adults who have mental illnesses. In order to do so, mental health problems needs to be considered just as important and serious as physical health problems by society and health care providers. Children’s wellness checkups need to include a mental examination in addition to the usual physical exam. Staff members who work in settings with children must be required to learn about signs of mental health problems in order to potentially diagnose children at a young age rather than further down the line, when it is harder to treat. Mental health services must be more easily accessible and provide the most safe and effective treatments specific to the individual. Changing the way we view mental illness is a great first step into helping those with mental health problems.

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