March 8, 2010
Each year, almost 44 million Americans experience a mental disorder. In fact, mental illnesses are among the most common conditions affecting health today. The good news is that most people who have mental illnesses, even serious ones, can lead productive lives with proper treatment (www.yahoo.com). Mental illnesses are some of the most misunderstand afflictions in today’s society. Too many people think of mental illness as a “weakness.” Nothing could be further from the truth. These are true illnesses and brain diseases (www.hcpc.uth.tmc). Mental illnesses are illnesses that affect the way a person thinks, acts, and feels. Like most illnesses, they have included biological, psychological, and environmental roots. The more severe mental illnesses are primarily diseases of the brain that cause distorted thinking, feelings, or behavior.
President John F. Kennedy once said, “The great enemy of truth is very often not the lies, deliberate, contrived, and dishonest, but the myths, persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic.” What the former president said is true because there is no right or wrong meaning for mental illness. Carter (1998) states that, “The indirect costs of mental illness (costs unrelated to psychiatric or medical care, such as social disruptions, unemployment, and loss of productivity), estimated at $75 billion in 1990, are the same as those associated with heart disease. But there is a huge difference in perception-heart disease is “acceptable,” mental illness is not.” I do not understand why people would prefer to spend money on heart disease, not mental illness. Some experts said that, “Indirect and direct costs of mental illness is as high as $150 billion annually, the human costs-the poverty, the broken homes and lives, the isolation, the loss of self-esteem, the suffering caused by negative stereotypes-cannot be measured.” It cannot cost that much as...