Mental Illness Awareness

Mental Illnesses Are Medical Problems That Can Be Treated

Thesis

People with mental illnesses, whose brains process differently than others, are not meant to be looked down by society.

Mental Illnesses are Common

Approximately 1 in 4 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with a mental illness. Mental illness carries a stigma that causes additional suffering and often is a barrier to treatment and support. Even with a widespread acceptance of mental illnesses, a common "backbone" of prejudice marks people as undesirables that have conditions such as depression and schizophrenia. The public may understand that mental illnesses are medical problems, yet they reject the individuals with them. Mental illness is a disease that can be treated.

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IU study: 'Backbone' of Mental Illness Stigma Common in 16 Countries Studied;Mental Health Weekly Digest


Position: Despite the widespread acceptance, individuals are still being treated unfairly.


Supporting Details: Mental illness is a disease that can be treated; the public understands that mental illnesses are medical problems but still reject individuals with mental illness.


Analysis: Society may say one thing but act another way. Even though they say they accept mental illnesses, they treat the individual differently. Treatment is available for these mental illnesses.

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Girl Scouts Engage in the Fight Against Mental Illness Stigma with Mental Health Awareness Patch; Mental Health Weekly Digest


Position: Girl scouts are actively fighting to create change and raise awareness of mental health problems.


Supporting Details: Approximately 1 in 4 people in the U.S. diagnosed with a mental illness, awareness of those impacted is also growing. Unlike those diseases, mental illness carries a stigma that causes additional suffering and often is a barrier to treatment and support.


Analysis: This helps raise awareness of how common mental health problems are. You may talk to people but not realize what's behind that smile.

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Postpartum Depression: One Mom's Mission Becomes A Movement


Position: Katherine Stone's story is shared about how she was diagnosed with postpartum depression and tells her experience through a blog post. Because of this, the Postpartum Progress created an event to be held on the first day of summer to share information about postpartum depression to other women.


Supporting Details: Stone had the first of what are called intrusive thoughts -- frightening notions about what could happen to you or someone else in your life. She thought about smothering her son with a burp cloth. She was diagnosed with postpartum depression and anxiety and was treated through therapy and medication.1 in 7 women in the U.S., or nearly 15% of new moms, is believed to suffer from some form of mental illness during or after pregnancy. Postpartum Progress is considered one of the leading sources of information and support for moms suffering from some form of perinatal mental illness.


Analysis: Katherine explains how she thought she was insane but finds out about having postpartum depression. She talks about her struggles after the treatment but still decides to move forward and bring more awareness to the topic. An event is created, 'Climb Out of the Darkness', and 1,600 climbers from 41 states and nine countries participated. She doesn't use her illness to hold her back, and she acts like any other person would.

Society's "Rejects"

Mental Illness can cause discrimination in employment, housing, medical care and social relationships. This could have a negative impact on their quality of life between family and friends. Society tells people how to act and treat someone. The problem is that they judge a book by its cover instead of learning about it. They need to learn that recovery is possible and has been proven. "The stereotype of all people with mental illness as 'not able' is just wrong. No data supports this." -Bernice Pescosolido, sociology professor and recognized expert in the field of mental health stigma. BC2M along with Mental Health First Aid are organizations that educate about mental health crisis and helps people understand.

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Example 1:


". . .Stone had the first of what are called intrusive thoughts -- frightening notions about what could happen to you or someone else in your life. She thought about smothering her son with a burp cloth." (Postpartum Depression: One Mom's Mission Becomes A Movement)


"That's terrifying how she thought about killing her son. This is one of society's next menace. People like her should not interact with others if she's thinking about killing her own flesh and blood."


Response: Katherine Stone was diagnosed with postpartum depression and anxiety and was treated through therapy and medication. People do not choose to be mentally challenged, but they can seek out help and treatment.


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Example 2:


In General


"People with mental illness are incompetent and abnormal unlike others. They're different than us and they deserve to know."


Response: Those with mental illnesses are the same like any other person. We're living human beings that have a body and soul. Their brains may not function like normal person's brain, but that's no reason to make them feel like they're different. Ignorant people don't know what's going on with them nor is it the other way around. Society makes see the differences before the similarities.

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Example 3:


Work and School


"They are retarded. They're too emotional. In work fields, they're going to fall behind and their performance is going to suffer. In school, they act differently than other students and the other kids don't want to be around them because of that."


Response: Anyone can be emotional and some people need extra time and help. Nobody is perfect but some people will never realize that. In life, not everybody will like you no matter how hard you try, but to avoid someone because they have a mental health problem is wrong.

Mental Illness: What You See / What You Don't See