Mental Illness As A Social Issue

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 Mental illness has been a social issue for a long time, the term “mental illness” is used to describe as unlike than a brain disease. As Szasz (1960) said it is made by showing an uncommon in behaviour of some norms. It is regarded as exactly no other from any other diseases. The only distinct of it is that mental sicknesses affect the brain causing it to manifest them by showing symptoms. Studies have shown that 45% of people aged 16-85 experience a mental health condition during their lives and it’s only few mood disorders, anxiety and substance addictions. In addition, adults at least 20% are suffering from emotional challenges every year. Also, mental illnesses like schizophrenia, eating disorders, personality disorders and more, the figures are higher with people going through it (SANE Australia, 2016). Moreover, in the Philippines approximately 4.5 million Filipinos according to the World Health Organization (WHO) is affected by depression, or any mental health issues (The Manila Times, 2018). Furthermore, the World Health Organization in 2012 revealed that suicide cases in the Philippines are over 2,000 cases from 2000 to 2012. People aged around 15 to 29 years old are the majority of deaths caused by suicide (Rappler, 2018). Most of the individuals who suffer a mental sickness may have symptoms like feeling melancholic, confused thoughts or lessen the ability to be focused, excessive feeling of anxiousness or extreme feelings of remorse, excessive altering of moods of highs and lows, isolation from social interactions and activities, feeling of so much tiredness, reduced energy or unable to sleep, being extremely delusional, having paranoia or hallucinations, unable to do with daily duties or cope one’s self from distress, inability of understanding, alcohol or drug abuse, having a bad eating habits, sex drive changes, extreme anger, violence and lastly, suicidal thoughts (Mayo Clinic, 2015).

The stigma of having a mental health problem has been widely known, for example stereotypes are that mentally ill people are not worthy, unskilled and dangerous. It affect the persons who suffer it but many studies show the real reasons of a mental illness, most report causes explanations combining stressful circumstances with biologic and genetic factors. 49% of the smaller proportions is related to alcohol and 44% of drug abuse. Those symptoms of mental illness are associated with public fears in potential violence and an eagerness for just limited social interaction (Link, Phelan, Bresnahan, Stueve, & Pescosolido, 2011). Moreover, according to WebMD (2018), the main causes of mental illness is not yet discovered, but the combination of psychological, natural, and environmental conditions are one of the big factors which causes mental illness. In biological, the genetics (heredity) is one good example because it can be inherited and can be sometimes run in a family that may able to pass it to another member of a family. It occurs when the multiple genes and other essential factors such as emotions and harmful situations interact with each other which result to the sudden burst and may trigger an illness to the person who has inherited. In psychological, disturbing events such as emotional, physical, and sexual abuse, loss of parents or love ones, and neglect plays a big role in developing such mental sickness because it deals with the inner self of a person, creating some thoughts, remembering painful and distressing scenarios that drives a person to overthink. This factor is believed as one of the most difficult part of treating and battling mental problems. In addition, also environmental, persons who have some trouble in coping up or adjusting to their new environment like changing of schools are more likely to experience a mental health problem. They are somewhat experiencing culture shock to their new surrounding because there are new people, new places, new routine and setting and they are hard to adapt. Numerous factors lead to mental ailments, involving heredity, physical illness or injury and severe experiences (University of South California, 2017). Furthermore, in 2015, it was reported that adults aged 18 and older is affected from certain forms of mental sickness (other than a developmental or substance use disorder) are approximately 43.4 million (17.9%). Also, both a substance use disorder and another mental condition, 8.1 million had both of it. (National Institute on Drug Abuse, 2017).

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Mental illnesses have a great effect to an individual’s life. In education, according to Kesser (1995) it is significantly less probable to finish high school, step into college, or receive a college degree with individuals who suffer from psychological disorder, compared to other without a mental illness. In addition, as Lund (2011) explained, there is a connection to both mental illness and poverty, he said it “interact in a negative cycle,” in which poverty can be a risk factor for mental illness, and it increases the risk that each person may “drift into or remain in poverty”. Moreover, mental ailments have a huge social influence in the world. Three and four percent in the GNP (gross national product) of developed nations is reduced because of mental health problems, as estimated by The World Health Organization (WHO) in 2001. They estimated that mental disorders decrease the nation’s expenditures and loss of productivity into several billion dollars annually and it costs an individual’s income because of unemployment. Additionally, mental illness during pregnancy or maternal mental health problem may decrease birth rate which affect the nation’s mortality.

Treatment for mental ailments has been accessible and even just self-recovery can be made but even so, only few individuals suffering symptoms of having a mental illness don’t seek medical assistance or any peer’s help. It was recorded that approximately 65% of the people experiencing the symptoms still chose to just live with rather than seeking help from health professionals or even any related persons around them. Around 40% of women seek support, however it is less than only 30% for men (SANE Australia, 2016). Also, around 40% adults only with diagnosable mental health problems receive recovery (University of South California, 2017). Anthony (1993) said that recovery is a personal deep process of changing an individual’s attitudes, values, aims, skills and purpose. It is living with contented, encouraged and having a remedy in life even within the bound caused by a sickness. Recovery includes the growth of a new sense and aspiration in one’s life as they cope further the disastrous impact of mental illnesses. According to the National Advisory Mental Health Council, the remarkable recovery outcome success rate of 80% for bipolar disorder and for other serious mental health problems the treatment rates are around 65% to 80% in major depression, estimated 60% rate for schizophrenia and lastly, 70% success rate of addiction. The arising percentage of people undergoing any mental health challenges in the world has been an issue and this is why the World Health Organization proclaimed in 2001 of having a mental awareness week (Jekins, 2003). Many countries have been implementing policies, healthcare programs, and NGOs outraising to aid mentally sick individuals.  


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