Essay About Mental Health
Did you know that 56% of the American population is affected by mental health problems? That’s an estimate of one out of every four people. Mental health is described as psychological and emotional cognitive well-being, and at any point in a person’s life, one can begin to have mental health problems, which can affect an individual’s emotional, psychological, social, and physical stability. Mental illness can be affected by biological related factors, such as brain chemistry, and genetics, or stem from the trauma of life experiences.
Explaining and providing examples of the variety and range of mental illnesses can help understand the complexity of mental health. While some forms of mental disorders can be common, there are also disorders that are rare and unknown. Here are examples of well-known mental health disorders: anxiety disorders, mood disorders, schizophrenia, obsessive-compulsive-disorders, attention deficit, or hyperactivity disorder (ADD/ADHD), eating disorder, and Alzheimer’s.
The significance of mental health is typically ignored because of the stigma that is associated with the issue. When promoting the importance of mental health, one must advocate the reversing of the stigma, the impacts mental health has on general health, and healthcare, and lastly how to raise awareness for mental health.
Reversing the stigma associated with mental health is crucial when raising awareness and promoting the significance of mental health. The use of the Latin term stigma was originally used to refer to a tattooed area on a slave or criminal, this was to show their inferior status to society. In the same sense, the stigma associated with mental health also marks people (Miller, 2014). In modern society it is not uncommon to hear the topic of mental health discussed publicly, but the stigma that surrounds the issue is not relative to today’s society but has been an ongoing issue for the past three decades. People with mental illness are challenged doubly, they struggle with symptoms of their disabilities, and are challenged by stereotypes (Corrigan, Watson, 2002).
Many individuals that experience mental health complications not only manage the conditions of their disease, but also face criticism and prejudice merited by misconceptions, stereotypes play a large role in these misconceptions, those who do not understand the complexity of mental illness blame it on laziness, or suffers of the condition are faking their illness, many individuals that do not understand mental health have a “get over it” mentality. Half of all lifetime cases of mental illness in the United States begins in the early teens, yet the average delay between onset of symptoms and intervention is eight to ten years (Holthaus, 2018).
Less than half of adults will receive treatment for mental health illnesses, with the standard median between the start of mental illness symptoms, and treatment being almost a decade. Studies show that discrimination and stigma against mental illness can be perceived as persuasive, and the stigma that intertwines with receiving treatment can be as harmful as the mental illness itself. “Individuals with mental illnesses live next door, teach our children, work in the next cubicle, and sit on the same pew at church. If we show these individuals respect, and acceptance, we remove the barriers to them successfully coping with their illness, (Holthaus, 2018).
Reversing stigma begins with understanding the stigma, and showing respect, and being open-minded to those who suffer from mental illnesses. Educate others, show acceptance, and support mental illnesses by being the voice of those who cannot speak for themselves. The high percentage of the stigma that is related to mental illness makes it difficult for individuals with mental health disorders to seek treatment.