According to The Free Dictionary, mental illness is defined as, “Any of various psychiatric conditions, usually characterized by impairment of an individual's normal cognitive, emotional, or behavioral functioning, and caused by physiological or psychosocial factors “(The Free Dictionary, 2007). Mental illness can certainly be a physical illness, but is not as easily diagnosed like a disease such as diabetes. In a disease like diabetes, physicians can run tests to look for certain indicators of the disease in the blood like the levels of blood glucose and hemoglobin A1C. Sometimes physical conditions can cause mental illnesses. Unlike diseases like diabetes, mental health diagnoses’ often rely more on the patient relaying their symptoms to their physician or health care provider. This could not be as accurate because the patient may be unable to distinguish all of their symptoms or they may not think to tell the health care provider every symptom that they are suffering. According to John Grohol PsyD, “Treating mental illness rarely results in a “cure,” per se. What it does result in is a person feeling better, getting better, and eventually no longer needing treatment (in most cases). But even then, rarely will a professional say, “Yes, you’re cured of your depression.””(Grohol PsyD, 2009).
The deinstitutionalization of the mentally ill began with the introduction of the use of psychotropic drugs for mental health treatment in the 1950’s. It was embraced as a way of saving money because the patients would be able to be treated on an outpatient basis and in theory also be able to function in the world while on medications. This has not been as successful of a plan as originally intended. Crystal Riberio makes this point by stating, “The programs thought to replace care given in institutions were not nearly adequate. These programs, attempts to place the mentally ill back in society to be helped by the community members, day programs, and medications were not...
References: The Free Dictionary . (2007). Medical Dictionary. Retrieved from http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/mental+illness
Grohol PsyD, J. M. (2009). Psych Central. Pysch Central. Retrieved from http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2009/05/22/how-do-you-cure-mental-illness/
Riberio, C. (2006). Deinstitutionalization of the Mentally Ill. Associated Content. Retrieved from http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/47201/deinstitutionalization_of_the_mentally_pg2.html?cat=17
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