Effects Of The General Public 's Attitude On Individuals With Mental Illnesses

1626 Words Dec 3rd, 2015 7 Pages
Effect of the General Public’s Attitude on Individuals with Mental Illnesses
Mental illness has been on the media a lot in the past years. With the raise in anxiety and depression rates and crimes that are being blamed on it has been on everyone minds lately. But how does this media coverage affect those who suffer from mental illnesses. In the book Descartes’ Error the author Antonio Damasio speaks for a bit about the difference between diseases of the brain and of the mind. He states “the distinction between diseases of “brain” and “mind” between “neurological” problems and “psychological” ones, is an unfortunate cultural inheritance that permeates society and medicine. It reflects a basic ignorance of the relation between brain and mind. Diseases of the brain are seen as tragedies visited on people who cannot be blamed for their condition, while diseases of the mind, especially those that affect conduct and emotion, are seen as social inconveniences for which suffers have much to answer. Individuals are to be blamed for their character flaws, defective emotional modulation and so on; lack of willpower is supposed to be the primary problem” (Damasio 1994). Damasio’s work can be summed up to basically say society blames the mentally ill for their disease, while they feel empathy for those suffering from brain injuries. Some people may argue and say it affects them positively, however there seems to be much more evidence pointing to the opposite of this thought process.…

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