Mental Health History

1565 Words 7 Pages
Mental health is coming to awareness in recent years around the United States; however, mental health diagnoses have been present throughout human existence. Not only has mental health been in existence since human beings, but also racism has haunted minorities in negative ways. This short essay will trace the history of mental health, since 1900’s in the United States to some of the recent studies addressing minorities in mental health. Tracing the history of mental health there is an interconnection with racism, and African Americans have been victims of medical experimentations and research along with other ethnic minorities (Harrison-Ross, 2007). Researchers used African American’s stereotypes that society had of them to justify their …show more content…
881). “Puerto Rican syndrome” according to Margarite Fernandez Olmos and L. Paravisini-Gebert it differs depending on the person’s “medical/ anthropological/ political perspective and/ or agenda” (Harrison-Ross, 2007, p. 881). Some might argue that the Puerto Rican syndrome has return in disguise named as “ataque de nervios” in the DSM-IV (Harrison-Ross, 2007, p. 881). “Ataque de nervios” is defined by “an outlet expressing anger, upset, frustration or sadness…sense of hopelessness, helpless, and lack of control” (Dura-Vila & Hodes, 2012, p. 1628). Drapetomania diagnosis and Puerto Rican syndrome have both been named by Anglo-American culture (Harrison-Ross, 2007). Moreover, in the late 1970’s a study concluded “no significant racial differences in anxiety disorder but higher rates of major depression, minor depression, and depressive personalities for non-Whites (mainly Blacks) than for whites” (Williams & Wilson, 2004, p. 371). Some of the studies regarding mental health comparison between races have been questionable with its findings, along with other movements in the United …show more content…
The belief that minorities are inferior to their white counterpart has created policies restricting access not only to mental health, but also “educational, employment, and residential opportunities” (Williams-Morris & Williams, 2000). The separation of races and discrimination in societal institutions have been successful due to distinguished institutions taking part of, such as “real estate industry, banking institutions and housing policies of the federal government” (William-Morris & Williams, 2000, p. 247). Furthermore, a study was done by Rumbaut in 1994 reported depressive symptoms “of over 5,000 children of immigrants in southern Florida and San Diego”, which were accounted for discrimination against them (William-Morris & Williams, 2000, p. 252). The negative stereotypes regarding African Americans have lead mental health clinicians to the misdiagnoses of African Americans, where they are diagnosed with schizophrenia at higher rates than other races (William-Morris & Williams, 2000. p.252). There has been evidence that even when clinicians utilize the proper diagnostic criteria to diagnose clients they continue to misdiagnose black patients with schizophrenia (William-Morris & Williams, 2000). It has been clear that ethnic minorities have suffered in great extents where some have lost their

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