Mental Illness In American Culture Essay

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Mental Illness in American Culture

In America, mental illness is seriously neglected. It’s dealt with very poorly. Minority groups have the worst of it, as well as severely mentally ill individuals. The main reasons for this are lack of access, and lack of awareness, understanding, and empathy for mentally ill people. Race, neurotype (such as ADHD), sex, gender identity, sexuality, class, religious beliefs and spirituality, age, familial relationships and community support, language and communication, and American society’s beliefs and representation about mental illness and social stigma all affect the way that mental illness is dealt with and gets in the way for better care and treatment of mental illness in the country.

People of color, …show more content…

“ When society attributes, upon a person or group of people, perceived behaviors that do not adhere to the expected social norms, discomfort can be created. This often leads to the generalization of the connection between abnormal behavior and mental illness, which may result in labeling and avoidance.” (Brian K. Ahdemani, 2011). There are people that don’t believe in mental illness, or aren’t even aware of their mental illness, impairing them and their loved ones from getting the proper help and worsening their mental health issues. There are people who believe mental illness is dangerous. The way mentally ill people are treated within their own families due to beliefs, difference in age, religious and spiritual beliefs, or simply the family’s dynamic and dysfunction. Severely mentally ill people (such as people with schizophrenia, major depressive disorder, and bipolar disorder) and neurodivergent people (people with Autism Spectrum Disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), tourette's syndrome), have little representation and information and understanding to get the proper care they need for their own unique experiences, and they way they get treated in general for their neurodivergence contributes to their mental health as neurodivergent people are more likely to have a comorbid mental illness. The way mentally ill people are treated within the healthcare system doesn't make it any better, since many healthcare professionals misdiagnose and mistreat mentally ill people, as if they’re less than human. Their negligence to properly treat mentally ill individuals can cause said person’s mental health to get worse, causing more problems that may be hard to fix. Mentally ill people in the media are portrayed as just insane

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