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A Brief Summary of Mental Illness

  • Mental disorder Three decades ago people used to whisper the word ‘cancer’. No one had the courage to say it out loud. Cancer was an illness that had stigma, cancer was a killer and it was frightening and unpredictable.
  • When will the time come when people will talk openly about mental illness?
  • Mental illness has a social stigma until today. Mental illness causes people uneasiness. This uneasiness is caused by lack of understanding what mental illness is.
  • Recent research have asked people what association comes with the word mental illness. The results were shocking and showed lack of understanding to what mental illness means.
  • People with mental illness will usually not confide with their boss. They will be afraid of losing their job.
  • 25% of American adults suffer from mental illness.
  • Mental illness is treated with medication like any other illness. Mentally-ill patients go to outpatient clinics for daily treatments which usually does not interfere with their life.
  • So why does society treat the mentally ill with discrimination and stigma?
  • We can only blame the media by depicting mentally ill people as crazy, violent, evil and unpredictable. How many times have you read in the paper or have seen it on T.V. that a mentally sick person murdered somebody? Or kidnapped a young child and locked him away?
  • What are the steps a mentally ill person should take in order to minimize stigma?
  • Choose a good time to talk to your family and friends. Get ready for many questions concerning your condition, medication and other related questions. Provide your loved ones extensive information about your illness, maybe a leaflet or a book of your mental illness and give it to them to take home and read, help to break the ice and initiate an honest,constructive discussion.
  • Talking about your mental illness will help you cope with the uncertainties and the challenges that you’ll have to deal with.
  • In order to reduce stigma in connection with mental illness, the community has to talk about it openly, to educate society about the causes, implications and treatment of mental illness.
  • Families of mentally ill patients are also affected by ignorant perceptions about mental disorders within the family and have to deal with the rumors of their family member being mentally ill. Let’s be honest with ourselves, how many people will commit themselves into marrying a guy with a schizophrenic sister? What are the odds that you will have a child with mental illness as-well, is it heredity?
  • What causes mental illness, is the cause environmental or heredity? Mental illnesses do run in families but that doesn’t mean that you’ll be affected as-well. Doctors believe that many mental disorders are linked to multiple genes and so one has more susceptibility than others. Environmental stressors can sometimes trigger a person who had the genes or the risks of having a mental disorder.
  • Mental illnesses are common like heart diseases, cancer and diabetics.

Researches from Tel-Aviv University have found a way to arrive to early diagnosis of schizophrenia by examining cells from the nose. See the attached research Reuters – Detecting signs of schizophrenia before the onset of the disease .

  • Until this discovery, biological signs of schizophrenia were found in the brain cells which couldn’t be traced in a live person, only during autopsy. The next step is to determine if a pre-checkup of nerve cells can detect symptoms of schizophrenia before the onset of the disease which will allow preventative medication and will prevent future suffering to the patient.