⚡ Mental Illness In The Media Essay
Mental Illness In The Media Essay In Subscribe. Mental Illness In The Media Essay are your Personal Narrative: My Authentic Hispanic Family Was the same true outside the lab in the real world? For more than a generation now, we in the West have aggressively spread our modern knowledge of mental illness Sheltered English Language Reflection the world. Words: - Pages: 4.
evolution of the mental health portrayal in media video essay
They impair self-esteem, help-seeking behaviours, medication adherence and overall recovery. Mental health advocates blame the media for promoting stigma and discrimination toward people with a mental illness. However, the media may also be an important ally in challenging public prejudices, initiating public debate, and projecting positive, human interest stories about people who live with mental illness.
Media lobbying and press liaison should take on a central role for mental health professionals, not only as a way of speaking out for patients who may not be able to speak out for themselves, but as a means of improving public education and awareness. Also, given the consistency of research findings in this field, it may now be time to shift attention away from further cataloguing of media representations of mental illness to the more challenging prospect of how to use the media to improve the life chances and recovery possibilities for the one in four people living with mental disorders. Western drug companies dole out large sums for research and spend billions marketing medications for mental illnesses.
Taken together this is a juggernaut that Lee sees little chance of stopping. It seems unlikely. Beginning with scattered European cases in the early 19th century, it took more than 50 years for Western mental-health professionals to name, codify and popularize anorexia as a manifestation of hysteria. By contrast, after Charlene fell onto the sidewalk on Wan Chai Road on that late November day in , it was just a matter of hours before the Hong Kong population learned the name of the disease, who was at risk and what it meant. Many modern mental-health practitioners and researchers believe that the scientific standing of our drugs, our illness categories and our theories of the mind have put the field beyond the influence of endlessly shifting cultural trends and beliefs.
After all, we now have machines that can literally watch the mind at work. We can change the chemistry of the brain in a variety of interesting ways and we can examine DNA sequences for abnormalities. The assumption is that these remarkable scientific advances have allowed modern-day practitioners to avoid the blind spots and cultural biases of their predecessors. Modern-day mental-health practitioners often look back at previous generations of psychiatrists and psychologists with a thinly veiled pity, wondering how they could have been so swept away by the cultural currents of their time.
The confident pronouncements of Victorian-era doctors regarding the epidemic of hysterical women are now dismissed as cultural artifacts. Similarly, illnesses found only in other cultures are often treated like carnival sideshows. Western mental-health practitioners often prefer to believe that the pages of the DSM-IV prior to the inclusion of culture-bound syndromes describe real disorders of the mind, illnesses with symptomatology and outcomes relatively unaffected by shifting cultural beliefs. And, it logically follows, if these disorders are unaffected by culture, then they are surely universal to humans everywhere. Of course, we can become psychologically unhinged for many reasons that are common to all, like personal traumas, social upheavals or biochemical imbalances in our brains.
Modern science has begun to reveal these causes. Whatever the trigger, however, the ill individual and those around him invariably rely on cultural beliefs and stories to understand what is happening. Those stories, whether they tell of spirit possession, semen loss or serotonin depletion, predict and shape the course of the illness in dramatic and often counterintuitive ways. In the end, what cross-cultural psychiatrists and anthropologists have to tell us is that all mental illnesses, including depression, P. This does not mean that these illnesses and the pain associated with them are not real, or that sufferers deliberately shape their symptoms to fit a certain cultural niche.
It means that a mental illness is an illness of the mind and cannot be understood without understanding the ideas, habits and predispositions — the idiosyncratic cultural trappings — of the mind that is its host. This was promoted both as a scientific fact and as a social narrative that would reap great benefits. The logic seemed unassailable: Once people believed that the onset of mental illnesses did not spring from supernatural forces, character flaws, semen loss or some other prescientific notion, the sufferer would be protected from blame and stigma. In a sometimes fractious field, everyone seemed to agree that this modern way of thinking about mental illness would reduce the social isolation and stigma often experienced by those with mental illness.
Trampling on indigenous prescientific superstitions about the cause of mental illness seemed a small price to pay to relieve some of the social suffering of the mentally ill. In , Prof. In her study, test subjects were led to believe that they were participating in a simple learning task with a partner who was, unbeknownst to them, a confederate in the study. Before the experiment started, the partners exchanged some biographical data, and the confederate informed the test subject that he suffered from a mental illness.
The experiment then called for the test subject to teach the confederate a pattern of button presses. Biochemical aberrations make them almost a different species. In other words, the belief that was assumed to decrease stigma actually increased it. Was the same true outside the lab in the real world? Studies show that much of the world has steadily adopted this medical model of mental illness. Although these changes are most extensive in the United States and Europe, similar shifts have been documented elsewhere. Unfortunately, at the same time that Western mental-health professionals have been convincing the world to think and talk about mental illnesses in biomedical terms, we have been simultaneously losing the war against stigma at home and abroad.
Studies of attitudes in the United States from to have shown that the perception of dangerousness surrounding people with schizophrenia has steadily increased over this time. Researchers hoping to learn what was causing this rise in stigma found the same surprising connection that Mehta discovered in her lab. This unfortunate relationship has popped up in numerous studies around the world.
In a study conducted in Turkey, for example, those who labeled schizophrenic behavior as akil hastaligi illness of the brain or reasoning abilities were more inclined to assert that schizophrenics were aggressive and should not live freely in the community than those who saw the disorder as ruhsal hastagi a disorder of the spiritual or inner self. It appears, in short, that the impact of our worldwide antistigma campaign may have been the exact opposite of what we intended. Researchers have long sought to understand what may be the most perplexing finding in the cross-cultural study of mental illness: people with schizophrenia in developing countries appear to fare better over time than those living in industrialized nations.
This was the startling result of three large international studies carried out by the World Health Organization over the course of 30 years, starting in the early s. The research showed that patients outside the United States and Europe had significantly lower relapse rates — as much as two-thirds lower in one follow-up study. These findings have been widely discussed and debated in part because of their obvious incongruity: the regions of the world with the most resources to devote to the illness — the best technology, the cutting-edge medicines and the best-financed academic and private-research institutions — had the most troubled and socially marginalized patients. Trying to unravel this mystery, the anthropologist Juli McGruder from the University of Puget Sound spent years in Zanzibar studying families of schizophrenics.
Though the population is predominantly Muslim, Swahili spirit-possession beliefs are still prevalent in the archipelago and commonly evoked to explain the actions of anyone violating social norms — from a sister lashing out at her brother to someone beset by psychotic delusions. McGruder found that far from being stigmatizing, these beliefs served certain useful functions.
The beliefs prescribed a variety of socially accepted interventions and ministrations that kept the ill person bound to the family and kinship group. They are placated, settled, reduced in malfeasance. She watched family members use saffron paste to write phrases from the Koran on the rims of drinking bowls so the ill person could literally imbibe the holy words. The spirit-possession beliefs had other unexpected benefits.
Critically, the story allowed the person with schizophrenia a cleaner bill of health when the illness went into remission. An ill individual enjoying a time of relative mental health could, at least temporarily, retake his or her responsibilities in the kinship group. Since the illness was seen as the work of outside forces, it was understood as an affliction for the sufferer but not as an identity. For McGruder, the point was not that these practices or beliefs were effective in curing schizophrenia.
Rather, she said she believed that they indirectly helped control the course of the illness. Besides keeping the sick individual in the social group, the religious beliefs in Zanzibar also allowed for a type of calmness and acquiescence in the face of the illness that she had rarely witnessed in the West. The course of a metastasizing cancer is unlikely to be changed by how we talk about it.
In fact, researchers have long documented how certain emotional reactions from family members correlate with higher relapse rates for people who have a diagnosis of schizophrenia.What if? Among the most famous early examples was the so-called water-buffalo incident at the Soft Tissue Injury of Mental Illness In The Media Essay. In other epochs patients may draw chiefly upon such Mental Illness In The Media Essay as abdominal pain, false estimates of body weight and enervating weakness as metaphors for conveying psychic stress. Magazine Mental Illness In The Media Essay Americanization of Mental Illness.