“Mental disorders are disabling more because they create psychological barriers rather than physical barriers to functioning” (Mental Illnesses Under-treated Compared With Physical Illnesses). Although mental disorders have equal, if not more, negative effects on human lives they are considerably undertreated in comparison to physical defects. Disturbingly, only a minority of people with severe mental illnesses are receiving the necessary treatment. A study conducted by the World Health Organization concluded that mental illnesses are much more common than physical illnesses; one in four adults suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder in a given crime, therefore it is vital to give adequate treatment that is customarily given to those with physical disorders.
Mental illnesses are certainly not rare. “An estimated 26.2 percent of Americans ages 18 and older”(Mental Disorders in America) suffer from mental conditions that are diagnosable. This translates to about 57.7 million Americans. Of these people, 1 in 17 suffer from a severe mental disorder and 45% meet the criteria for two or more disorders. Major Depressive Disorder is the leading cause of disability in the U.S. for people from ages 15 to 44. It affects about 14.8 million Americans a year, or about 6.7% of the population in just one year.
“They discovered that patients with severe mental illnesses, such as schizophrenia, are less likely to be prescribed medication to treat common conditions such as high blood pressure”(People with Mental Illness). Physical disorders are almost prioritized in comparison to mental disorders, but why when the effects of being mentally ill are more dangerous? If not properly treated, mental disorders can have severe consequences for both the individual and society. Common effects are “unnecessary disability, unemployment, substance abuse, homelessness, inappropriate incarceration, suicide, and wasted lives” (What is Mental Illness). Theres also an economic burden;...
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