Mental Health Promotion

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  • Published : March 18, 2013
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Madeline Robbins

People with mental and physical disabilities have been ridiculed and treated as though they are not equal to the rest of society. Many people in our society have Down syndrome and have struggled to gain rights to go to school, have a job, and live a normal life. Down syndrome is when one is born with an extra chromosome. He or she has 3 copies of the 21 chromosome and 47 total chromosomes instead of 46. This extra chromosome can cause many physical health issues. People with Down syndrome can lead a normal life and there has been a major improvement of their support and acceptance. There are many other mental illnesses that are overlooked and as a church and a society we need to support them and value their lives. There are different severities of Down syndrome, but common characteristics of an individual with Down syndrome include: a flattened face, up-slanted eyes, low-set ears, a short neck, a single straight crease across the palm, characteristic patterns of the ridges of the skin on the fingers, palms, and soles, short arms and legs, poor muscle tone, mental retardation. Individuals with Down syndrome can also be prone to heart defects, increased susceptibility to infection, respiratory problems, and digestive problems. There is also a higher risk of childhood leukemia. Adults with Down syndrome are also more prone to Alzheimer’s disease. There is not a cause or cure for Down syndrome, but women who are over the age of 40 have a higher chance of delivering a baby with this disability. Due to many of these health risks, pregnant women over 40 have been known to take test to determine whether or not their child has Down syndrome. The triple screen test and the alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) test are screening test for Down syndrome. Screening tests do not give a definite answer though. Diagnostic test do give definite results though. Although individuals with Down syndrome may live a harder life and there is no cure, there have been many...
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