The Land Of The Sick People Essay

1915 Words 8 Pages
It is first nature to empathize with a sick person, but many neglect the feelings and role that family and friends are in when someone near and dear to them is suffering. Five years ago my strong, courageous, and loving mother was diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). Depression is not an uncommon diagnosis in the field of mental health, but what mad my mother’s illness different than others is the social impact that prevented her from seeking proper healthcare and accepting her current mental state. Depression does not occur overnight, over a month or two, but it gradually builds up and it took a depressive episode for my family and I to realize that my mother needs to seek professional help. I was in 8th grade, which means I was …show more content…
Before I delve into things I want to explain more about the “The Land of the Sick People” and what it means in this context. Alice Stewart Trillin, was diagnosed with adenocarcinoma of the lung and when she first discovered she was diagnosed with cancer she described that she had entered a new phase in her life, which is what she refers to as “The Land of the Sick People” (Trillin). What she means by this is that “sick people” obviously have a different life compared to those who are not, but I believe that …show more content…
I was only fourteen years old at the time, but I realized that I had acquired more knowledge about mental health than majority of the adults that were in my life. Through my research, I came across the word “stigma” and quite a bit. The term “stigma” soon became a vital word in my vocabulary. In Freund’s book “Health, Illness, and the Social Body”, stigma is defined as a “a powerful discrediting and tainting social label that radically changes the way an individual is viewed as a person” (Freund, McGuire, Podhurst). Mental health is no doubt stigmatized more than any other illness and I blame society for and culture for my mother not accepting her illness and refusing help. If I was in my mother’s place I would not want society to dehumanize me, strip me of my independence, and isolate themselves from my because of my health status. Few people realize that when they say someone is “schizophrenic” rather than someone has “schizophrenia”. This effect of word choice causes the mental illness to encompass that person rather than it being an illness. Confused? Is it correct to say “someone is high blood pressure” or “someone is cancer”? No, because society is so understanding and sympathetic with those who suffer from cancer or high blood pressure. Maybe because they are illnesses that can be physically seen, not “all in your head”. Going up to an individual and saying “you are cancer”

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