Mental Illness Essay

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Abstract

Mental illness has for a long time been shrouded in secrecy, taboo and myths that have made family members and friends shun away from those with these illnesses as well as hide them. This only led to more cases of admissions and deaths rather than management. The increase in research has eliminated the secrecy and led to more development in better drugs to treat and manage the illnesses as well as making people much more open and acceptable including to their own relatives and friends. 

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Recent research by Shaefer, et al (2017) indicate that people are being openly diagnosed with mental illnesses at a much higher rate. This is a shift from what was in the past and people are accepting these changes in the mental illness beliefs and seeking mental health services. The fact that even educated and wealthy people are being diagnosed with various mental health illnesses from childhood and even adulthood is a change from the previous beliefs and myths about mental illnesses. The myth of mental health problems has engulfed most society members in different cultures and has been hindering effective treatment or management of these mental illnesses. In the recent times however and based on increased research on mental health illnesses, more people are accepting the medical diagnosis, treating people with mental health issues normally and even seeking treatment without any shame or fear of being judged or treated different. People are even seeking preventive techniques to avoid some of the common mental health problems as well as managing them for the long run. 

As mentioned above, there has been a general acceptance of mental health illnesses by the society based on more people getting educated about this health problem. The general acceptance has broken taboos that were associated with the illness that prevented even family members to discuss mental health challenges in front of others or even seek professional help for fear of stigmatization by the rest of the relatives and community in general. The fact that many people are openly being diagnosed with one form of mental illness or another, take medication and undergo therapy while still performing their roles in life makes acceptance within the family and friends circle much more easier. The family members or friends that are diagnosed with mental illness and become incapacitated have their doctors allowed by law to disclose his information to their closest family members due to issues of incapacitation in decision making as well as in payment of the recommended pharmacological treatment or even another form of therapy to help them manage the illness (Kane, et al, 2016). 

According to Karanti, et al (2017), there has been major breakthroughs in the mental health treatment using medication. The increase in research about mental illnesses and the general acceptance by the society has facilitated the increased pharmacological development. The major breakthroughs have been in medication that not only helps individuals with various mental illnesses cope with mood episodes, but have also reduced their rate of admission into hospitals with the lack of management of the illnesses. These medication are enabling people with mental illnesses manage at an almost normal mental health capacity, managing their moods and maintenance of the disease symptoms to a manageable level. They are able to combine these medications with support group and other individualized forms of therapy and they live a very normal life. The medication prevents relapse cases of those with mental illnesses such as schizophrenia or bipolar as they go about their normal life. Better medication is being developed with increased research such as the use of lithium in bipolar patients. 

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  1. Kane, J., Robinson, D., Schooler, N., Mueser, K., Penn, D., Rosenheck, R., Addington, J…Heinssen, R. (2016). Comprehensive versus Usual Community Care for First-Episode Psychosis: 2-Year Outcomes from the NIMH RAISE Early Treatment Program. American Journal of Psychiatry, 173(4), 362-372. Doi: 10.1176/appi.ajp.2015.15050632.
  2. Karanti, A., Song, J., Goodwin, G., Lichtenstein, P. & Landen, M. (2017). Pharmacological treatment and risk of psychiatric hospital admission in bipolar disorder. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 201(4). DOI: 10.1192/bjp.bp.116.187989
  3. Shaefer, J., Caspi, A., Belsky, D., Harrington, H., Houts, R., Horwood, J., Hussong, A…Moffitt, T. (2017). Enduring Mental Health: Prevalence and Prediction. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 126(2), 212-224. 
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