Essay on Mental Illness : The Medical And Scientific Communities

1616 Words Jul 30th, 2015 null Page
Bathing, cooking, and shopping; these routine activities are seemingly second-nature for the majority of people. But for the more than seventy-nine million Americans who have been diagnosed with either an anxiety or mood disorder, performing these tasks can seem like impossible feats to accomplish (“U.S. and World Population Clock”). With a combined lifetime prevalence of 24.6% (31.6% for anxiety disorders and 17.5% for mood disorders) and a combined lifetime morbid risk of 36.2% (41.7% for anxiety disorders and 30.7% for mood disorders), mental illness is undoubtedly one of the gravest social issues that humanity has ever faced (Kessler 175–177). Accordingly, the medical and scientific communities have long argued over the precise origins of psychiatric disorders. While this debate initially began as a matter of genetics, or “nature,” versus environmental factors, or “nurture,” it is now largely accepted that it is the interaction between these two elements that dictate whether or not an individual will be stricken with a mental disorder (DeRubeis 788–796). It is the aim of this paper to illustrate how the implications of this conflict have sculpted the modern methods of treatments for anxiety and mood disorders. First, it is important that we establish a definition for both anxiety and mood disorders, and also that we understand the relationship between the two. Anxiety disorders are characterized by chronic, overwhelming feelings of fear and anxiety, typically resulting…

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