Mental Illness

Topics: Sociology, Mental disorder, Psychiatry Pages: 4 (1242 words) Published: April 23, 2013
The social construction of mental illness
Key Words
* Career: The gradual change in people as a response to a label e.g. mental patient. * Learned Helplessness: learning how to be dependent.
* Life-course model: suggests that the accumulation of social events experienced over a whole lifetime, not just individual important events, influence people and their mental state. * Presenting culture: a term used by Goffman to refer to how people like to portray themselves to others. * Schizophrenia: a form of mental illness where people are unable to distinguish their own feelings and perceptions from reality. * Self-Fulfilling prophecy: predictions about the behaviour of social groups that come true as a result of positive or negative labelling. * Social Capital: refers to a network of social contacts. * Social constructionism: the approach which suggests that mental illness exists because people believe that it does. * Social realism: a sociological approach which suggests that mental illness does really exist. Summary

Mental illness is the less fortunate twin to physical illness. The NHS is not funding enough support for mental health patients and the attention paid to it is minimal. Mental health is a major problem in society with one in seven people claiming to have had mental health problems at some point in their lives. Social Trends 2007 (Self and Zealey 2007) said that about one in six British people aged 16 to 74 reported experiencing a neurotic disorder in the seven days before a national survey on mental health. When looking at which group is most likely to suffer from high rates of mental illness, the poorest and most excluded are majorly overrepresented. Defining mental illness

Social Realism:
* A general term used to describe the approaches of sociologists who accept that there are distinctive sets of abnormal behaviour that cause distress to individuals and those around them. * Pilgrim and Rogers (1999) accept...
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