Mental Illness : A Social Problem Essays

2336 Words Oct 9th, 2016 10 Pages
The occurrence of mental illness has been rising in recent years, with many people reporting the development of mental health issues. These mental illnesses include, to OCD, anxiety, substance abuse, anti-social behaviour and schizophrenia to name a few. There are some that argue that mental illness is an individual issue, not influenced by factors outside the personal experience. This essay will argue that mental illness is a social problem, with a particular focus on the topics of gender and poverty. Defining mental illness and the concept of a social problem gives a basis for the topic. In addition to this, the different way gender influences mental illness is examined as well as prominent sociological theories associated with gender and society. Also examined is the effect poverty has on mental illness and the sociological theories that are associated with poverty and society. Finally, the biomedical model and the need for appropriate medical and health policies will be discussed.
To argue that mental illness is a social problem, there first needs to be a definition of what these two things are. A social problem or issue is a condition that is undesirable and needs to be changed (yourdictionary.com, n.d). A mental illness is any disorder, diagnosed by a mental health professional, which affects an individual’s emotional, social, or cognitive abilities (Parliament of Australia, n.d). The diagnosis of a mental illness is a specific process and is made by a health…

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