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Schizophrenia and Stigma - Essay Example

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Schizophrenia and Stigma Introduction Mental health illnesses have traditionally been viewed in a negative light. In ancient times, these illnesses have been viewed as demon possession, often prompting various ancient rituals to be carried out on those afflicted with mental illness…
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Schizophrenia and Stigma
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Download file to see previous pages People’s understanding of mental illness has improved and some of the mentally ill have been acknowledged as normally functioning individuals. However, the stigma against them has always been strong. The label of mental illness seems to have dictated how people should treat them. The perception and treatment of these people has been less than acceptable and the labels have prevented these people from functioning in normal society, in their work, their family, and in their community and social life. More often than not, people acting strangely or differently from the norm have been labelled as mentally ill or simply, “crazy.” After such label is bestowed upon certain behaviours, individuals are often treated differently, based on their labels. However, most of the time, these ‘abnormal’ thoughts and feelings are often simply part of an individual’s personality. Nevertheless, society labels these thoughts and feelings as signs of mental illnesses. For which reason, misdiagnoses of mental illnesses are common occurrences. These are dangerous patterns of behaviour because subjecting individuals to these labels can also subject them to inappropriate treatments. In the end, their human potential can be lost. Under these considerations, some argue that it is not helpful to view the thoughts and feelings of others as manifestations of illness. This essay shall evaluate this thesis, specifically discussing the impact of labelling thoughts and feelings in mental health. The first part of this essay shall be a general discussion of schizophrenia, including its essential qualities and the other labels associated with it. The second part shall consider the various arguments and issues in relation to labelling in mental health care. The third part shall seek to support the argument that it is not helpful to label thoughts and feelings in mental health. Finally, concluding remarks and a summary of the arguments shall be present and end this essay. Body According to the Royal College of Psychiatrists (2012), schizophrenia is a mental disorder which impacts on one’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviour. It often initially manifests from age 15 to 35 years and in some cases take a long while to diagnose. Schizophrenia is attributed to various causes, including one’s genes, possible brain damage during birth, viral infections during pregnancy, and in some instances, child abuse (Royal College of Psychiatrists, 2012). The use of drugs has been known to trigger it, most especially among teenagers; however, stressful events and family issues have also been considered triggers for this mental health issue (Royal College of Psychiatrists, 2012). Schizophrenia has been detected based on positive and negative symptoms. Positive symptoms include: hallucinations, delusions, difficulty in thinking, and feeling controlled. Negative symptoms include: loss of interest, loss of energy, as well as loss of emotions (Royal College of Psychiatrists, 2012). Under these conditions, a patient may cease to carry out his or her normal activities, including activities of daily living like cleaning the house, grooming self, dressing self, and working. Some schizophrenics often hear voices without experiencing negative symptoms, however others experience no other symptoms except delusions; in some patients, they may only experience negative symptoms and muddled, confused thoughts (Royal ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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