Summarise and discuss the presentations of mental health in the two newspaper articles given in Appendix 1.
In this essay, I will summarise how both newspaper articles in Appendix 1 present mental health. I will also compare and contrast the articles with each other, as well as compare them to what I know about mental health and the history behind it including psychopharmaceuticals and psychotherapies. The first article, titled ‘six in ten of us have faced mental issues such as stress or depression’, focuses on the amount of people currently struggling with mental health issues in Briton today. The article states that according to a recent survey, 60% of people have struggled mentally with stress, anxiety or depression at least once in their lives. In Briton, a staggering 70% suffered with stress, 59% anxiety and 55% depression according to the charity Mental Wellbeing. Of those people who admitted difficulties, 69% of people had admitted to isolating themselves rather than facing up to problems. Matthew Hyndman, a University student who was supported by the Together charity, admitted being bullied at University leading into a downward spiral of isolation, spending most days watching television alone. Hyndman stated “I now realise this is the worst thing you can do, because the more isolated you become, the more unimaginable it seems that you will ever have the courage to enter ‘normal life’ again”. The Care Services Minister, Phil Hope, stated that there is still a taboo surrounding mental health issues. From this article above, focusing on how many people are struggling with mental health issues today, it is interesting to look at the history of mental health in comparison and how it has evolved with time. In the early nineteenth century, when diagnoses first emerged and psychiatry was young, peoples perspectives were very different than today. An interesting point to note is that the same diagnoses were named differently depending on social standings, class and wealth. Depression was diagnosed as ‘melancholia’ for wealthier patients, and ‘mopishness’ for the ‘pauper lunatics’ (Pilgrim, D. 2010, p.24). In 1883, a German Psychopathologist by the name of Emil Kraepelin established some axioms which became popularly understood. These were as follows. 1. Mental disorders are genetically determined diseased of the nervous system. 2. Mental disorders are separate, naturally occurring, categories. 3. Mental disorders are fixed and deteriorating conditions (Pilgrim, D. 2010, p.24). These classifications were mainly assumptions. This reflected and fed the Eugenic ethos of the Victorian times, referring to the betterment of human society. It was assumed that physical and mental strengths and weakness were always inherited. This was supported by the Eugenics by the high birth rate amongst the very poor. Madness, idiocy, epilepsy, prostitution and criminality were more prevalent in these groups, so the eugenics encouraged control by gender segregation in instructions. Poor people were seen to have a ‘tainted gene pool’ (Pilgrim, D. 2010, p.24). During the First World War, many soldiers were brought into institutions suffering from ‘shell shock’, throwing eugenic-genetic theories into crisis. The soldier’s being brought in were seen as the ‘finest blood’, not poor blood or tainted gene pools, thus causing another shift on psychiatric diagnosis (Pilgrim, D. 2010, p.25). The second article is titled ‘Antidepressant use rises as recession feeds wave of worry’, and this article focuses on how prescriptions for antidepressants have doubled in a decade, and the reasoning for this is believed to be due to a shortage of counsellors. The article goes on to talk about how prescriptions have risen since the recession hit. One of the interesting and most shocking figures the article provides is that since 2009, there has been a 95% increase in prescriptions written for depression. What is interesting to note in this article, is that it...
References: Goldman, D. (n.d.) Great Depression vs. Great Recession, http://money.cnn.com/news/storysupplement/economy/recession_depression/ [Accessed 16 June 2011]
Freeman, S. (n.d.), How Lobotomies Work – Psychiatric care in the 1930’s: The lobotomies origins, http://health.howstuffworks.com/medicine/surgeries-procedures/lobotomy3.htm [Accessed 16 June 2011]
Pilgrim, D. (2010) ‘The Diagnosis of mental health problems’ in Barker, M., Vossler, A., Langdridge, D. Understanding counselling and psychotherapy, Milton Keynes, The Open University
Toates, F. (2010) ‘Understanding drug treatments: a biopsychosocial approach’ in Barker, M., Vossler, A., Langdridge, D. Understanding counselling and psychotherapy, Milton Keynes, The Open University
University of Wisconsin, (1999), Crashing hopes – The Great Depression, http://us.history.wisc.edu/hist102/lectures/lecture18.html [Accessed 16 June 2011]
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