I have a friend who is pervasive enough to know she needs professional help with a form of mental illness. She does not want professional help. She feels if she has to take medications for the rest of her life, or worse, have a long term stay at a behavioral health facility where they might over medicate her if she is oppositional to the treatments that her life and freedom to choose will be over. She could have a better quality of life once the right treatment is found. Everyone may know someone with mental illness, whether they have a psychotic disorder including schizophrenia and its four classifications, Schizoid Effective, Bi-polar Mania, the Autism Spectrum, Tourette’s Syndrome, Depression, ADHD or ADD just to name a few. If we do
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While these definitions are not wrong, for someone looking for answers about mental illness, the inconsistencies of definitions that are on line can be confusing to someone looking for insight to mental illness. The Surgeon General defines the mind and what ails the mind the best: “As befits the organ of the mind, the human brain is the most complex structure ever investigated by our science. Accordingly the brain, as the origin of the mind, we can conclude that mental illness is what ails the brain” (Mental Health). Many believe that the mind is not a tangible part of the body. This outdated belief leads to confusion about the mind and mental illness, its misunderstanding leads to fear and stigma. To define stigma: according to Merrian-Webster Stigma is b: a mark of shame or discredit: stain <bore the stigma of cowardice> c: an identifying mark or characteristic; specifically: a specific diagnostic sign of a disease”.
To see the how the stigma of mental illness came about, one should look to the past. In the middle ages the mentally ill were referred to as lunatics. Lunacy is Latin for Luna. (Leupo) One of the stigmas was that the mentally ill were born at night with a full moon or placed by a window to sleep where moonlight could shine on them and they became lunatics. (Leupo) This stigma