Mental Illness is a term used for a group of disorders causing severe disturbances in thinking, feeling and relating. They result in substantially diminished capacity for coping with the ordinary demands of life. (Mental Illness Defined) There are some different perspectives on the causes of mental illness. The perspectives include the biological, psychodynamic, humanistic and existential, behavioral, cognitive, and sociocultural. Advances in brain imaging techniques have helped scientists study the role of brain structure in mental illness.

Some studies have shown brain abnormalities in certain mental illnesses. Some people with schizophrenia have enlarged brain ventricles. In addition, a variety of medical conditions may cause mental illness. Brain damage and strokes can cause loss of memory, impaired concentration and speech, and unusual changes in behavior.

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Brain tumors, imbalance of hormones, deficiencies in diet, and infections from viruses are other factors. Freud believes that mental illness is caused by unconscious and unresolved conflicts in the mind. Both the humanistic and existential perspectives view abnormal behavior as resulting from a persons failure to find meaning in life and fulfill his or her potential. The behavioral perspective explains mental illness, as well as all of human behavior, as a learned response to stimuli. Despite all of these different theories, most modern day psychologists agree that mental illness is caused by a combination of these things. (Mental Illness)Schizophrenia results not from a single cause, but from a variety of factors. Most scientists believe that it is a biological disease caused by genetic factors, an imbalance of chemicals in the brain, structural brain abnormalities, or abnormalities in the prenatal environment.

In addition, stressful life events may contribute to the development of schizophrenia in those who are predisposed to the illness.Approximately 1 percent of people develop schizophrenia at some time during their lives. It is estimated that about 1.8 million people in the United States alone have schizophrenia. (Schizophrenia) The prevalence of schizophrenia is the same regardless of gender, race, and culture.For many schizophrenic patients the symptoms gradually become less severe as they grow older.

About 25 percent of people with schizophrenia become symptom-free later in their lives.A variety of symptoms characterize schizophrenia. The most prominent include symptoms of psychosissuch as delusions and hallucinationsas well as bizarre behavior, strange movements, and disorganized thinking and speech. (Brain Disorders: schizophrenia) Many people with schizophrenia do not recognize that their mental functioning is disturbed. Usually a family member points it out.

Although there is no cure for schizophrenia, effective treatments exist. These treatments can improve the long-term course of the illness. Most doctors use antipsychotic drugs (also called neuroleptics) to treat people with schizophrenia. Skills training and rehabilitation programs may also help people with this illness function in the community. Antipsychotic medications, discovered in the mid-1950s, can dramatically improve the quality of life for people with schizophrenia. The drugs reduce or eliminate psychotic symptoms such as hallucinations and delusions. The medications can also help prevent these symptoms from returning after a period of remission.

Antipsychotic drugs help reduce symptoms in 80 to 90 percent of people with schizophrenia. (Schizophrenia) Unfortunately, those who benefit often stop taking medication because they think they are well again, do not understand that they are ill, or because of unpleasant side effects.Family intervention programs can also benefit people.

These programs focus on helping family members understand the nature and treatment of schizophrenia, how to monitor the illness, and how to create a minimal-stress environment that helps patients make progress towards independence or at least a greater independence.Words/ Pages : 581 / 24

Mental Illness

Mental Illness Eng.

201 Essay #1 Persuasive Essay Wisconsin has a problem on its hands and it is not being dealt with in the right manner. The problem keeps getting bigger and bigger everyday. Instead of giving treatment to the mentally ill, hospital facilities have pushed thousands of mentally ill people on to the street. The idea behind this is to give those with mental illness, a freedom that has been taken from them since they were institutionalized.This plan has a lot of great qualities that would help a lot of people. But there are some serious repercussions because of it.

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The problem is simple; the law that released thousands of mentally ill people is too vague. The law should have put the individual hospital in charge of stating who is safe to live in the general public, and who is not yet ready. The term mental illness stands for a vast variety of illnesses.This could be anything from chronic depression, schizophrenia, or even posttraumatic stress; the list goes on and on. Some disorders cause people to have unexpected mood swings. Collins a Lt on the police force said We dont know what they will do from one minute to the next(14a) This causes a cycle to start forming in which the individual(s) goes in and out of prisons.

Like it did to Karen Grayson who is expects to get out sometime this month. She blames her crimes on her disease along with two psychiatrists, a judge, and three psychologists. Collins states We take them out to the county health complex to get them some help, only to be turned away.They say theyve got no room. Often, we have no choice but to arrest them(14a). This only makes the situation that much worse. Karen sits there, growing sicker and sicker(Gene Braaksma 14a) Now theyre stuck in a place that not only makes their disease worse but also doesnt have the right facilities or staff to help control the illness.

The 42% of mentally ill prisoners held in Wisconsins maximum-security prisons receive limited care for their dieses.One of the worst things you can do for a mentally ill person is take them out of society. This will only cause the illness to worsen at a quicker pace. Chances are if you stick a mentally ill person in todays prison they will spend less time interacting with others and more time by themselves.

Statistics will show that this cycle keeps growing and growing. This is a huge factor of overpopulation in prisons. Politicians had the right idea but jumped to quickly on the matter, rather then thinking through all the repercussions.

Many of the patents released are doing well I would think, enjoying their new freedoms. I think the law should have taken into consideration each disease and its affect on the individual. What I mean by this is, two individual can react differently to the same disease. This is depending on the strength of the disease, the individuals background, and if the individual has any other mental illnesses.


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