It seems that everyone today has dealt with issues relating to mental health. Either a family member, a friend, or you personally have been diagnosed with depression, OCD, or the other multitude of other mental illnesses. With this being more popular, sometimes it is easy to stop and wonder if you have a mental illness that has not been spotted or diagnosed yet. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 1 in 5 adults in American experience a mental illness, with 1 in 25 adults live with a serious mental illness (https://www.nami.org/NAMI/media/NAMI-Media/Infographics/GeneralMHFacts.pdf). Have these numbers always been so high and we just haven’t been able to diagnose them, or are psychiatrists and psychologists just unnecessarily diagnosing so that they can sell the prescriptions for whatever mental illness the patient supposedly has? Is it just for profit? Or are we so technologically focused today that we aren’t interacting with nature, which has been proven to make humans more relaxed and able to deal with stress?
It is true that there is a lot of stigma with mental illness; some people even think it is “all in your head” when you mention depression or ADHD. Sometimes parents don’t want to believe that their child is “imperfect,” so they ignore the warning signs they see until it is too late. Yet, even though there are different degrees with mental illness and how severely you can be affected, people are still unaware of how to deal with it. Just like death, mental illness is something that is not talked about openly. Probably the one most talked about is PTSD. There has been so much research on PTSD, and now there are supposedly easy ways to deal with the extreme stresses of it, like SCUBA, parrots, and yoga, according to the New York Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/18/us/veterans-ptsd-alternative-therapies.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fhealth&action=click&contentCollection=health®ion=rank&module=package&version=highlights&contentPlacement=2&pgtype=sectionfront). Even though this is true, and it is possibly reverting back from medicalization of dealing with this mental illness, it is not the most prevalent mental illness, with anxiety and depression being much more common. I am curious as to why these issues are not more prevalent in the media, with only the occasional story on the teenager who committed suicide to bullying (but never because of depression)? There is far more coverage on physical injuries than mental illness, and I have to wonder why the public is so apprehensive to talk about it and talk about their feelings towards this issue? How can we make mental illness a priority for more studies to be done and so that it can be addressed in politics?
-Annelise Wilimitis (Blog 3)