Mental Illness

Published on June 2016 | Categories: Documents | Downloads: 46 | Comments: 0 | Views: 428
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Though 10% of Bruneians actually suffer from minor mental disorders (depression, insomnia, anorexia, etc.), most patients fail to seek medical treatment. This may be due to eastern supernatural beliefs or for the fear of being called mentally ill. The latter occurs because in our society, mentall illness is synonymous to being abnormal and dangerous.

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Mental Illness

From the article, we see how mental illness is stigmatized in Brunei Darussalam. Though 10% of Bruneians actually suffer from minor mental disorders (depression, insomnia, anorexia, etc.), most patients fail to seek medical treatment. This may be due to eastern supernatural beliefs or for the fear of being called mentally ill. The latter occurs because in our society, mentall illness is synonymous to being abnormal and dangerous.

The symbolic meaning of a mental illness is especially important to this issue – how our society label people suffering from mental illness. Because our human environment is structured largely around commonly accepted rules and norms of how ‘normal’ people should behave, most people treat persons with ‘mental illness’ with stereotypical judgement (social constructionism). Mentally ill patients are expected to behave in a rigid and inaccurate way – abnormal and dangerous. Through the media ( linking mental disorders to acts of crime e.g.serial killers ) and everyday conversations, a social stigma is created to discredit mentally ill patients.

Also, labeling mentally ill patients tend to self-fulfill the prophecy of ‘acting crazy’. They are likely to internalize and live out the label rather than try to oppose the stereotypically expected acts of a ‘sick person’.

Therefore, with these reasons, people who wish to seek medical assistance to remedy their ‘mental disorders’ do not always do so. As medical authorities associate the word ‘mental illness’ to a patient, that patient may face problems in living or be alienated from existing social arrangements (Neubeck & Neubeck, 1999).

If this stereotyping of mental illness continues, this barrier would lead to bigger problems in the society. Early detection and medical treatment helps because chances of complete recovery would be more (Han, 2007). This means that ‘mental illness’ can be remedied even before it becomes serious, creating less burden to friends and families ( lowering costs of paying for treatment) as well as the nation (less expenses in running mental institutions).

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