Mental Illness : An Element Of Human Nature

1040 WordsSep 9, 20155 Pages
Mental illness is an element of human nature that is universally experienced directly and/or indirectly by all individuals. The perceptions surrounding mental illness vary based on multiple factors (culture, personal experience, predisposition, etc.) each individual encounters. For me, my viewpoint of mental illness developed over time and has changed drastically over the years. As my interactions with those suffering from a mental illness have increased, the biases I had about mental illness have dissolved. New anxieties have formed, with these changes, in my perception around working with individuals with a mental illness. For the sake of my career and personal health, I will overcome these anxieties or learn to cope with them. Mental illness is difficult to define; however, all of these previously stated factors influence my current definition of mental illness. I would define mental illness as a disease or sickness much like cancer. It has biological components (predisposition for mental illness) and environmental components (societal/cultural input). In this definition, mental illness is similar to cancer in that it is not contagious, but rather develops out of some reaction within, whether from a chemical imbalance, malfunction of the brain, or inability to cope with the difficulties life brings. In some situations, mental illness, in my opinion, develops from being too self-involved to the point of neuroticism. Thus, for cultures that put an emphasis to the extreme

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