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Mental Illness

Mental Illness. As a Social Problem. Statistics. 1 out of every 4 Americans suffers some for of mental disorder in a given year. Severe mental illness (Schizo, manic-depressive illness, etc.) affect about 3% of the adult population.

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Mental Illness

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  1. Mental Illness As a Social Problem

  2. Statistics • 1 out of every 4 Americans suffers some for of mental disorder in a given year. • Severe mental illness (Schizo, manic-depressive illness, etc.) affect about 3% of the adult population. • Overall rates of mental illness are about the same for men and women (specific disorders – specific gender) • Only ~40% of individual afflicted by diagnosable mental disorders seek metal-health or substance abuse services. • 80% of the world’s 450 mil mentally disabled live in developing nations

  3. Mental Disorder vs Mental Illness • Mental disorder: requires medical treatment but usually not hospitalization • More individual suffering. (Minor depression, anxiety, etc.) • Mental illness: more violent, irrational psychological disorders that require hospitalization. • Affect many other people; place strain on society (schizophrenia, antisocial personality disorder, multiple personality disorder, etc.)

  4. Pervasiveness in Society

  5. Mental Illness as a source or Societal Problems b/c: • Stress in family life • Dilemmas on health-care institutions • Dilemmas in morality and ethics • Cost of treatment • Impact on deinstitutionalization

  6. Suicide • 3rd cause of death for young people • 2nd highest cause of death among college students • Men vs Women

  7. Social Construction of Mental Illness 1.) Medical Model 2.) Mental Illness as Deviance 3.) Problems of Living

  8. Medical Model • Mental illnesses is a disease with physiological causes (biological) • Treating the patient • Knowledge of biological causes has reduced stigma of mental illness • “illness can happen to anyone

  9. Mental Illness as Deviance • Societal labels • “mentally ill person” = deviant indiviual • Accepting the “role” offered to them (self-fulfilling prophecy) • The disorder may be a function not only of certain individuals’ inability to comply with societal expectations but also of the label attached to those who deviate.

  10. Problems in Living • Not “illness” but instead manifestations of unresolved problems in living • Homeless, poor, etc. • Public agencies have the right to incarcerate people against their will simply for acts of non-conformity.

  11. Classifying Disorders: The DSM “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders” The DSM clearly lists the symptoms of each disorder, and wherever possible, gives information about the particular disorder.

  12. Infancy and Childhood Disorders Organic Mental Disorders; dementia Substance-related disorders Schizophrenia and psychotic disorders Mood disorders Anxiety disorders Delusional Disorders Somatoform disorders Dissociative disorders Psychosexual Disorders Impulse control disorders Personality disorders Major Diagnostic Categories of the DSM-IV

  13. Infancy and Childhood Disorders • Disorders that appear prior to adulthood • Includes… • Mental retardation • Attention deficit disorder • Hyperactivity • Developmental problems

  14. Organic Mental Disorders • Psychological or behavioral abnormalities associated w/ temp or perm dysfxt of the brain • Result of aging, disease, drugs • Delirium, Dementia

  15. Problems associated with excessive use of or withdrawal from… Alcohol Amphetamines Caffeine Cocaine Hallucinogens Nicotine Opiates Other drugs Substance-Related Disorders

  16. Schizophrenia • Delusions or hallucinations and deterioration from a previous lvl of fxting w/ symptoms existing for more than 6 months. • Catatonic and paranoid

  17. Delusional Disorders • Key chxts: delusions (Ex: belief that you’re being followed) • Difficult to differentiate from paranoid schizo.

  18. Mood Disorders • Aka affective disorders • Extremes in emotions • Includes major depression and bipolar (manic-depressive) disorder

  19. Anxiety Disorders • Key symptom – anxiety – is manifested in phobias, generalized anxiety disorder, panic attacks, OCD

  20. Somatoform Disorders • Physical symptoms such as paralysis w/o medical explanation • hypochondriasis

  21. Dissociative Disorders • Splitting or disassociation or normal consciousness • Amnesia, fugue, multiple personality

  22. Psychosexual Disorders • Chxterized by • sexual arousal by unusual objects or situations (fetishism) • sexual dysfunctions such as inhibition of sexual desire

  23. Personality Disorders • Chronic, inflexible, and maladaptive personality patterns that are generally resistant to treatment • Antisocial personality disorder

  24. Disorders of impulse control • Kleptomania • Pyromania • Pathological gambling

  25. Problems with DSM Classification • Social “stigma” (i.e. labeling) • Institutionalization without consent • Self-fulfilling prophecy • Individuals define themselves by their “label” and act accordingly.

  26. Sociocultural Factors of Mental Illness

  27. Poverty and Mental Illness • Psychosis in general, and schizophrenia in particular are more common at the lowest socioeconomic lvl • cause or effect? • Social Selection or Drift Hypothesis: a consequence of mental disorder; mental illness is found in the lower class b/c illness prevented them from fxtg @ higher class level and they drift down in society • W/out adequate health insurance for mental-health, people suffering from mental illnesses are often forced into poverty.

  28. The Vicious Cycle of Poverty and Mental Disorders

  29. Other Factors Urban Life: People who live in low-class communities experience high levels of stress = increased rates of mental illness • Poverty conditions • Household crowding Race: not a causation, but a connection to social class • Class discrimination Gender: least correlation in occurrence; wm = dep, anxiety, phobias, men = autism , schizo • 2ndary Status discrimination • Rigid Role expectations Age: Mental Illness begins early in life; prevalence increase from (18-29) to (30-44), then decreases

  30. Treatments • Methods • Psychological • Psychoanalysis - therapy to understand the underlying reasons for the problems and to work out solutions • Client-centered • Therapy and Support groups • Hypnosis • Psychologist, social workers, therapists, counselors • Medical • Electro-convulsive therapy - Shock treatment: major depression • Chemotherapy - Antidepressants, antipsychotic, mild tranquilizers • Psychiatrists

  31. Changes in Treatment and Care • Biggest prob = lack of care • B/c of lack of coordination b/wn Institutions • Schools • Hospitals • Families • Community centers • Law enforcement agencies

  32. Treatment INSTITUTIONS • Mental Hospitals • Based on efficiency and econonmy • Erving Goffman (1961) Total institutionalizaiton • Powerlessness and depersonalizaiton • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B5NyyC-UjBM&feature=related • Mental Health Centers • Out patient • Psychotropic drugs • Halfway houses • Crisis centers • Private clinics

  33. PROBLEMS • Hospitalization • Inadequate staffing • Ineffective therapy • Patient mistreatment • Deinstitutionalization • Inadequate funding • Insufficient patient monitoring • Increasing homelessness

  34. Social Policy for Mental Illness • Policy Trends – issue of parity • Policy Legislation • Community Mental Health Centers Constructions Act (1963) • Youngerg vs. Romeo (1982) • Mental Health Parity Act of 1996 • NOT renewed! • Policy Problems • Debate over agent responsibility • Lack of institutional coordination

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