Concept Paper - Mental Illness

Topics: Health care, Mental disorder, Medicine Pages: 4 (1071 words) Published: October 2, 2014
ENG 121
Fall 2014
Concept Essay

Ever wonder how after a mass murder happens the defense turns to “Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity” or “Guilty but Insane/Mentally ill”? The stigma around mental health issues has a significant connection to violence in society that causes people to over amplify the danger of persons with mental health illnesses. The symptoms of mental illnesses are often exaggerated to be much worse than people with mental illnesses actually show. Ones who suffer from these mental illnesses are afraid of being criticized or judged. The media also contributes to this stigma of the mentally ill being violent. The lack of quality mental illness health insurance is also an issue in taking care of the mentally ill and making sure they are being taken care of well.

Stigma is a mark of disgrace that sets a person apart from others. It is characterized by prejudicial attitudes and discriminating behaviors directed towards individuals with mental health problems as a result of the psychiatric label they have been given by society. The stigma mentally ill people experience can lead to feelings of shame, hopelessness, distress, fear, inadequacy, and the reluctance to seek help/accept help. In contrast there is also perceived stigma. This is where the sufferer internalizes the perceptions of discrimination. This type of stigma causes the sufferer to become lonely and isolated and lead to poorer treatment outcomes. Persons with illnesses often refuse to get help no matter how effective the treatment is, as long as the stigma is present.

People often think of the mentally ill as being extremely dangerous and unable to fit into society. They blow up the symptoms of illnesses to an extreme. For example, people who suffer from schizophrenia are seen as uncontrollable and incredibly violent. When in reality, studies show that people suffering from mental illnesses are involved in four percent of all violent crimes. (Rubin, “Stigma and mental...

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"Mental Hygiene." Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica, 28 Apr. 2014. Web. 8 Sept. 2014.
Mental Health America. American Opinions on Mental Health Issues. Alexandria: NMHA, 1999.
Rubin, Linda. "Stigma and Mental Illness in the Aftermath of Mass Shootings." - Opinion. Al Jazeera, 9 Apr. 2013. Web. 8 Sept. 2014. .
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