Senator Creigh Deeds story is just one of many that end in tragedy because of a mental health system that has failed. While the major proportion of people living with mental illness are not violent, they can become a victim of violence. According to the latest statistics from the American Psychological Association one in five adults has a diagnosable mental disorder, one in twenty-four has a serious mental disorder (SMI), and people with mental illness are no more likely to be violent that people without mental illness (Association, American Psychiatric, 2016). Untreated mental health care is characteristic of the violent crimes that we see happening today. Some of the reasons behind these untreated individuals are the unmet needs of people not having a financial means to pay for services, lack of insurance, knowledge about how to access care, embarrassment about having the need for services, and those that needed care but experienced delays in accessing care (Jones et al., 2014).
Mental illnesses are a serious problem worldwide, however, they often go untreated. This happens for a number of reasons such as stigma, lack of knowledge and counties personal failures to protect and provide for those who are in need. In order to protect those suffering from mental illnesses. Proper treatment and accommodations of mental health victims are often not provided, leading to further problems with these victims.
Anxiety Disorders cause a person to feel fearful or uncertain at most times. A generalized anxiety disorder can cause you to feel constantly worried. Panic disorders cause panic attacks from extreme anxiety. Obsessive Compulsive disorder is a type of anxiety disorder that causes one to obsessively clean. Phobias cause irrational fears of things that are generally not dangerous.
According to the World Health Organization, mental illness will affect approximately 25% of people at some point in their life (“WHO Qualityrights”, n.d.). Despite that, the current mental health care system in the United States is inadequate. Many aspects of the system need improving, especially the barriers to service. In fact, approximately 20% of individuals are left without necessary treatment for their mental health disorder (“Mental Health”, 2016). Mentally ill individuals have difficulty accessing necessary mental health care services for various reasons; insurance, socioeconomic status, and mental health stigma can all function as barriers to treatment. Insurance discrimination can make it difficult for individuals to find treatment (Han, Call, Pintor, Alarcon-Espinoza, & Simon, 2015). Gaps in insurance coverage can also be a barrier, as they disrupt the long-term treatment process (Gulley, Rasch, & Chan 2011). Socioeconomic status has been found to negatively affect appointment scheduling (Kugelmass, 2016). Finally, stigma in our society can also stop people from seeking out treatment that they need (Bathje & Pryor, 2011). The mental health system in the United States is not capable of caring for the mentally ill, as insurance, socioeconomic status, and perceived stigma all act as barriers that prevent people from receiving the treatment they need.
To understand the effect of mental illness in the United States you have to examine the past and see how certain issues were resolved. In the 19th century the first known global mental health activist was Dorothea Dix. Her work helped to bring awareness to the topic of mental health and allowed treatment in this field to become more well known. During this time she visited a jail in Massachusetts where she saw that criminals, mentally ill individuals, and people with developmental disabilities were living in unsanitary conditions together. Dorothea’s work helped people to open up their original thoughts and beliefs about mental illness being an actual illness and not being treated as a disease. Today many nonprofit and advocacy groups have limited resources and human capital in the area of research and awareness campaigns
Mental illness is nondiscriminatory, can affect any person and transcends all social boundaries. As a result, the issues surrounding mental illness have become common discussion pints among policymakers dedicated or required to formulate solutions around providing the long-term care needed by many patients. Healthcare reforms and changes to the systems that provide services to those living with mental illness and funding for services to the facilities providing care have become major social issues (Goldman, Morrissey, Ridgley, Frank, Newman, & Kennedy, 1992). The reason for this is primarily how it can affect a market economy and how much of a burden diseases of the mind can be in a country such as the United States. According to the 1991 Global Burden of Disease study conducted by the World Health Organization mental health burden accounted for “more than 15% in a market economy such as the U.S.” (The Impact of Mental Illness on Society, 2001). The study also states that for individuals over the age of 5, varying forms of depression are the leading cause of disability. A more recent study indicates that mental illness in general is found in more than 26% of the United States adult population, of which 6% are severe and limit the patient’s ability to function (Martin, p. 163. 2007).
Mental sicknesses, like schizophrenia, brain diseases and other living conditions have affected many individuals in the United States from the past until now. Yet in the US, the institutions that usually treat people with these illnesses are not hospitals or psychiatric facilities, but rather jails and prisons. The United States have adopted a system that seems to incarcerate the mentally ill rather than treating them within help centers. “In 2012, there were roughly 356,268 inmates with severe mental illnesses in prisons and jails, while only 35,000 people with the same diseases were in state psychiatric hospitals.” Incarcerating the mentally ill in correctional facilities rather than treating them in health
The United States has the highest rate of adult incarceration among the developed countries, with 2.2 million in jails and prisons. A recent study by the U.S. Department of Justice found that more than half of all prisons and jail inmates have a mental health problem compared to 11 percent of the general population, yet only one of three prison inmates and one in six jail inmates receive any form of mental health treatment. Those with mental disorders have been increasingly incarcerated during the past three decades. The treatment of severally mentally ill offenders has become an increasingly important and urgent issue because
About 75-80 million people in the United States are mentally ill to some extent (For the Mentally Ill, Finding Treatment Grows Harder). Many people are unaware of the treatments for the mentally ill and how few resources are available. Yes, if society looks from where society has come with the development of treatments, it has come a long ways. There is still more knowledge to be uncovered to ensure the United States gives the mentally ill care equal to what the United States gives the physically ill. Even though research has advanced immensely in the understanding of sanity vs. insanity, the United States needs to do more for those who are mentally ill through diagnosis and aid.
In today’s society there is a greater awareness of mental illnesses. With this greater awareness one might assume that there would be a substantial increase in government involvement or funding in the area of mental illness treatment. Unfortunately this isn’t the case in the U.S. today. There are hundreds of thousands of people with mental illness that go untreated. These potential patients go untreated for many reasons. These reasons are discussed in the Time article “Mental Health Reform: What Would it Really Take.
Take a moment and think about those your care deeply for, those you would give your life for. Now, imagine if he or she were sick, or in any other kind of trouble. What would you do to help them? Go to the edge of the world and back, fight, not stopping for yourself until they were in good health once more. Now imagine if you found a potential cure, or a solution, but it was held away because a few people who had more money than you did not want it to be used. You have seen and heard of this proponent being used in other countries and has had very promising results, yet still those who claim they have “power” over you deny what you seek. The fact of the matter is thousands of Americans suffer from some kind of mental illness, including my brother. Whether it be chronic anxiety, post traumatic stress disorder, depression, bi-polar, schizophrenia, addiction, the list can go on. America has a botched mental health system, the main way we treat people is by shoving pills down their throats, most that have little to no substantial effects, leaving people still feeling empty. The pills rather just “control” or alleviate symptoms rather than eradicating them completely, leaving people to have to take dose after dose daily to keep their lives in check.
There is over 2 million inmates in the prison system in the United States and about 16 percent of them have mental health issues. Some of those mental health conditions is a barrier to the inmates of being self-sufficient. The U.S justice department did a study in 2006 and noted that about 30 percent of those inmates exhibit indications of a mental health diagnosis. In the United States it cost somewhere around 45,000 dollars to house inmates in prison. According to a Department of Justice study only 2,000 dollars of the 45,000 dollars goes for the care of the mentally ill inmates. This does not meet the needs of the inmates of their mental health diagnoses (Coakley, E.
In addition, there are many forms of anxiety disorder, however, each form is encompassed by an excessive fear or worry that results from situations that are not threatening to the individual. Some example of anxiety disorders includes panic, phobias, generalized anxiety, and social anxiety. A number of scientists and researchers have also concluded that anxiety disorders are caused by factors such as family genetics or the environment that an individual grows up
“Anxiety is often defined as a more prolonged state of tension, worry, and apprehension regarding uncertain, and potentially negative, future events” (Duval, Javanbakht, & Liberzon 2015). In other words anxiety is completely normal and it works alongside fear in something called your Fight-or-Flight response. Your Fight-or-Flight response gears your body up to fight or to flee. Anxiety only becomes a problem when it gets excessive and your life starts to deteriorate. Knowing this, anxiety and stress disorders are one of the more prevalent categories of mental illnesses, affecting around 18% of Americans. There are multiple types of anxiety disorders which include Social Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and Specific Phobia. Generalized Anxiety Disorder is more common than the other anxiety disorders. There are also treatment methods that have been proven to work. These treatments include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and various types of medications.