Mental Illness

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Mental illness

By Waled and Johnny

Waled Awdi  When most of the people here the word illness, they automatically think about physical  problems such as a cold, cancer, hepatitis, although the most booming disease is mental  illness.

Mental illness is much more harmful than physical illness and not only to the person it  attacks but to the whole society. For example if you suffered from mental illness your  family will suffer to, your friends will suffer to, the treatment takes much more longer  than treating a physical illness, you waste much more human resources and public taxes.

Millions of people have experienced mental or emotional illnesses themselves or at a  close range. µ¶Mental illness has been defined as a disorder of the mind that prevents a  person from functioning adequately in daily life¶¶.

Causes of mental illness (Johnny ) Most causes of many mental illnesses are not known, but trough research its becoming clear that biological , psychological and environmental factors have a role in cause of

mental illnesses.

Biological  Some biological factors include genetics where in some cases the neuro transmitters react  differently then they actually should causing the person to react abnormally and causing  mental illnesses, another biological factor would be infection , some infections have  been linked to brain defects and brain damage.

The last biological factor I am going to  talk about is µ¶substance abuse, long term substance abuse, in particular, has been linked  to anxiety depression, and paranoia¶¶


Psychological Psychological factors include stuff like sexual abuse or major trauma of some sort caused in early childhood or sometimes in adulthood and adolescents, or chemicals could also play a big part in developing mental illnesses. But most psychological mental illnesses come from childhood because as children grow they grow to find out stuff like lash out to relieve stress or to avoid others to not feel emotional pain or other sadness

Environmental causes are things around the person that could make the person develop a  mental illness stuff like death, divorce, dysfunction family life, living in poverty, low  self-esteem , anxiety , anger , loneliness, selfchanges in life social and culture expectation  such as beauty being associated with thinness

Some times the affects of these causes can be reversed or treated but most of the time  they are permanent and are very hazardous to a person¶s health. For example the element  mercury causes a person to get some sort of psychosis and schizophrenia but mercury  also damages that persons lungs and brain and sometimes causes tumours.

Social attitudes towards mental illness (Waled) An example of how society treats mentally ill patients would be in the book µ¶One flew  over the cuckoo¶s nest where Ken Kessey describes to us how the aides treat the  mentally ill patients in the hospitals by harassing and torturing them

Scientific progress in Europe discovered that around the years of 500 to 1500, µ¶during  these years of superstition and fanaticism, mentally ill people were often treated cruelly.  No longer a subject of medical study, mental illness entered the realm of magic and  witchcraft and was referred to as µ¶devils sickness¶¶ or µ¶witch disease¶¶. The mentally ill  were called µ¶lunatics¶¶ or fiend-sick¶¶ fiend

µ¶Medieval historians described public abuse, as when people were sometimes forced to  recite sentences like these. µ¶Bind me with chains and feathers as a lunatic who has lost  his wits, keep me in close custody until I repent and recover my senses¶¶


Back in the dark ages people believed that mentally ill persons were possessed by the devil and performed exorcism on them because they believed that by performing such acts it will drive the evil spirit out of their bodies. Women which were mentally ill were seen as µ¶witches¶¶ and were ceremonially burned on the village post, ironically as an act of kindness to save their souls. µ¶For at least 3000 years as the records tell us, patients with psychotic illness were feared , therefore tortured and chained so others could live a safely life. Compared to that we sure have come a long way ladies and gentlemen.¶¶

Later on around the 1600s only a few people started to recognize and understand the true  meaning of mentally ill people and started defending them.  Statistics show that 70% of sane people think that mental illness is caused by  µ¶weakness¶¶, they believe that the mentally ill people are weak but truly it has nothing to  do with weakness because mental illness can¶t be µ¶cured¶¶ by personal strength or  having will power.

Another theory of sane peoples view towards mentally ill persons is µ¶craziness¶¶, In  other words if you have a mental illness society sees you crazy. A person who has an  emotional or a mental disorder is not crazy. Because of this misconception it prevents  family and individuals from getting help.


Life as a mental patient: Personal History (Waled) A former mental patient Clifford Whittingham Beers wrote a book µ¶ A mind that found Itself¶¶ where he criticized the state mental institutions, in 1908. He was a graduate from Yale University and had spent a couple of his years in mental hospitals because he attempted suicide and was diagnosed with maniacmaniac-depressive illness. He argued that while he was in the mental hospital the nurses and doctors were untrained attendants which were very insensitive and treated mental patients with no care at all and with lack of system supervision.

Due to his miserable life style in the mental hospital he founded the National Committee  for Mental hygiene in 1909, which was reorganized as the National Association for  Mental health in 1950. The reason of the organization was to inform the public more  about the conditions in mental institutions and advice changes to help the mentally ill  and their families.

Investigators did some research of the state hospitals and found out that mentally ill people were wondering around the halls moaning or screaming, patients which were nearly naked or wore cloathing soaked with urine or excrement. Most of the patients were kept in restraints for many hours during the day as well as night. A couple of the medications that were given to the patients were found infected and even harmful


Conclusion (Jonny) In summary mental illnesses are sometimes viewed as burdens and most people don¶t give mental illnesses much thought, a lot of people see them as nothing special or people decide that they are making it up or used to think that. Mental illnesses are not illnesses that can be contracted like for example the common cold or a flew, you have to develop them or be born with them, most of the time its due to things like drugs, trauma, sicknesses that go untreated and abuse.


Most or a high percentage of people think the causes of mental illnesses are µ¶weakness¶¶ but it has nothing to do with being weak or inadequate because having will power will not cure mental illnesses and science has proven these facts wrong as explained earlier. Most of the people with mental illnesses aren¶t dumb there smart as you and me or smarter, some graduates from schools like Yale and Harvard and become leading scientists in the world, but a lot of people with mental illnesses don¶t have easy lives they in fact suffer a lot because people treat them like their nothing or people miss treat them like in µ¶one Flew over the cuckoo¶s Nest¶¶. (END)

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