Mental Health StigmaMentalhealth in the public eye as always had a stigma; society sees those who have amental disorder as dangerous and violent instead of fully understanding it.Mental health is a very uncomfortable subject to people; it is a subject thatnot many people what to talk about this issue. Since it is a topic that people are not open to talking about it, itlacks understanding from family, friends, co-workers or others; while it canalso lead to discrimination at work, school, and social activities. A person whois living with an untreated mental illness can lead to poor educationalachievement, lost productivity, unsuccessful relationships, significantdistress, violence, abuse, unemployment,homelessness, and poverty (Mooney page 34). Society tends to judge those with mental health problems, and this cancause the person not to want to get help which could lead to their condition toget worse. Consequences of mental health stigma can be life-threatening, bydepriving an individual of basic needs and depriving them of what they need tobecome healthy is inhuman, this stigma can lead people to their death byself-neglect or suicide.
Suicide is thetenth leading cause of death in the United States and the third leading causeof death among people ages fifteen and twenty-four. There are misconceptionsabout the causes of mental health being that mental health is caused by aperson being weak, or the results of them engaging in the immoral behavior. Amajority of people experience some mental health illness in their lifetime; eachperson experiences mental health differently than others. A betterunderstanding society can help save lives and help people to become more openabout mental health issues. Medication,as evolved in recent years, with that evolvement mental health, is beingstudied more than it has been in the past, they are finding out differentmedication to help with mental illnesses. Studies are being conducted onspecific ranges of mental health so more information on mental health can beused for the better understanding of mental disorders and the importance ofpsychological health.
With the expanding of this knowledge of this field, theyare finding and creating a medication that can help with specific mentaldisorders, and can quickly diagnosis a mental disorder better. Medicine canhelp and cure so many illnesses and diseases which is why doctors are moreoften to medicate the patient as the only form of treatment. Nowadays psychiatryhas shifted much of its attention away from the use of psychotherapy and grouptherapy and towards genetic explanations of mental disorders and drug-basedcures (John Curra, Page- 127). It isbecoming easier to issue a medication to a patient than having them go throughtherapy which could help in areas where a drug cannot. Often when a patient isgoing through or have a mental disorder, they need extended help than justmedication. Therapy offers guidance that medicine cannot, therapy can be usedto help diagnose the illness and to talk to the patient and help them be moreof sound with themselves mentally. The institution of medicine is usedprincipally to control people.
Medication is becoming more often as a treatment for a mental disordernowadays, and well medication can help in a lot of cases and help with a lot ofdisorders it cannot be the only treatment that an individual goes through inthe process. Insurance companies aregoing to favor medicine instead of therapy due to the medication being a quicktreatment, and insurance companies would rather pay for medication instead oftalk-based therapy (Curra Page- 127). Themost common patient-reported barriers are the stigma associated with takingmedication. To society, it is more accepted to take Advil or allergy medicationthan it is for someone to take medication for a mental health condition. Patients who had good insights and who alsodid not perceive much stigmatization appeared to do best on use of variousoutcome parameters while those who had poor insights were found to haveproblems with service engagement and medication compliance (U.S National). Thisis an excellent example of how the stigma of medication causes people not towant to take their medication or get therapy treatment because they do not wantto appear as having something wrong with them.
People who go to therapy or arebeing medicated have a higher chance of becoming more confident and healthierat mind. When a person is diagnosed with a disease that is outside mentalhealth, society is more concerned and more accepting tell the person that isnot in their control of their health. When a person is diagnosed withdepression; society is less accepting, and more prone to telling the personthat it is all in their head, and telling them to ‘just me happy.’ TheDiagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) is an importantscript for classifying human attitudes, behaviors, and conditions (CurraPage-133). Although this manual is not a coherent framework for understandingand explaining mental disorders, it is but a cluster of signs and symptoms. TheDSM is similar to how knowledgeable people are when it comes to mentaldisorders; people are aware of the signs and the symptoms but unaware of thedifferences that people can experience with the same mental health diagnosis.Each person experiences pain; differently, it is the same for mental health,how one patient can experience symptoms and behaviors then another patient.
When aiding the patient with medication, doctors need to be aware that eachpatient is going to react to the drug differently than the other patients (U.S National).Thegovernment proposed the 2018 budget, and within that budget, there will be 23%reduction in the mental health services. The 2017 budget was $541.5 million andwill be decreased down to $415.5 million as of next year (Health Affairs).
Thesystem is not only making cuts in the Mental Health Services Administration andthe National Institute of Mental Health, but it is going to put a cut on TheSubstance Abuse Administrations. When there are cuts to a budget in the healthcare system it causes problems for many, not only does it mean getting help isgoing to cost more and be harder to get, and will involve that researching isnot going to go into mental illness studies. For the medical field to researchand study anything they need a budget to go on for that research, and when thegovernment cuts a budget, the medical field cannot do their job of findingcures and learning more about mental illnesses. Health care is so expensive, tobegin with, some people cannot afford to see their regular physician, let alonebe able to provide to see a psychiatrist or a therapist.
In today’s society there are more and morepeople diagnosed with a mental illness and for the government to cut back onsending’s on mental health, it is not doing their job of looking out for itspeople. The more budget cuts in health care will lead for the health of thepeople to decline, it is the government’s job to protect its people andstripping them from health care is not protecting them nor is it acceptable. Itis crucial that those who are on the front lines of working with people withmental illness receive the education and support needed to help manage bias.Programs need to be developed to help teach health care professional toidentify and manage their biases toward mental illness, so it does not interferewith clinical care (U.S National). Training more people in the medical field inmental health allows the possibility of integrating mental health screen in aprimary care setting. There should be more programs for the public so they canget educated on mental illness and gain a better understanding of them.
This goes back to the budget if thegovernment and the federal state do not have the funding for proper training,programs it can lead to poor healthcare professionals. According to PMC manypatients who seek help for mental health issues report feeling “patronized,punished or humiliated” in their dealings with health professionals (PMC).Trained and understanding healthcare professionals should help the patient outand make sure they are comfortable in their care, not to make the patient feelworse. Lack of training can play a vast contribution to physicians beingunaware of how their language and actions can be harmful to patients withmental illness.
The stigma can be shown to anyone including those who put theirlife’s work into helping with mental illness, and when physicians participatein anti-stigma programs, they are increasing a strong overall evidence ofpositive change. Sometimes the most dramatic changes come from a health careprovider taking the time to talk to an individual and reassuring them that theyare important and that their life has meaning(MGMH). There also needs to be moresupport groups for individuals to attend, to help them know that they are notalone in the world. Support groups not only allow a person to interact withothers that are experiencing a similar situation, but it also allows people tohear stories and experiences, it also helps with people becoming more openabout mental health.Thisstigma that is placed upon mental health is universal it causes discriminationand isolates people.
It can increase theduration of untreated illness, which could lead a person into a muchunhealthier state. This stigma needs tobe addressed for individuals because those with mental health especially feelthis type of stigma. Mental illness is an absolute public health priority withthe stigma of mental illness it is the most significant barrier to care. Mentalillness is not often seen in a person; it is not usually physically seen aswell. That is important to remember because it’s not easily seen on the outsideit doesn’t mean a person is not experiencing it. One in four people willexperience a mental health problem at some point in their lives, one in twelveof the whole population are affected by depression. Research has shown that thebest way to challenge these stereotypes is through firsthand contact withpeople that experience mental health problems (Psychology Today).
Severaldifferent campaigns and programs spend their time trying to change the publicattitudes on mental health. In 2010 theEquality Act was put in place, this act makes it illegal to discriminatedirectly or indirectly against people with mental health problems in theworkforce (Psychology Today). There are so many organizations that are doing somuch for mental health. The National Alliance on Mental Illness is anorganization that provides education, advocates and provides resources formental health. There are organizations that their sole purpose is to researchand studies mental health, for example, the Brain and Behavior ResearchFoundation; they also award grants to those who dedicate their time toresearching mental health. Some organization offer support and help with24-hour service that is available to anyone. The American Foundation forSuicide Prevention is a 24-hour service that is here to help those who havethoughts or are attempting to commit suicide; AFSP offers professional help andsupport to prevent suicide. The Trevor Project also provides 24 hours servicefor the LGBTQ+; they also are a suicide prevention organization, they offeradvice and support for those who are in the LGBTQ+ community.
Listed above isjust a few of the organizations that are trying to make a change in the worldand to help others. As a society, we need to work on getting rid of the stigmathat is associated with mental health and be more accepting of mental health.