Mental Illness Is Defined As A “Disease That Causes Mild

1816 WordsMar 4, 20178 Pages
Mental illness is defined as a “disease that causes mild to severe disturbances in thought and/or behaviour, resulting in an inability to cope with life’s ordinary demands or routines” (Anonymous, 2016). When people hear of mental illnesses changing behaviour it’s safe to assume they immediately think of violent and agitated people like those portrayed in the media, movies and news pieces alike. These assumptions have some significance in everyday life as it is reported that one-third of the public think people with mental illness are more likely to be violent.” (Regan, 2016), a statistic which is supported by studies conducted in Germany which showed that after an attack was publicised in the news and the media, the public 's need to…show more content…
The study showed that during the first half of the two decade-long study, (1994-2005), only “one percent of front page newspaper stories linked mental illness and violence” whereas in the second decade that number jumped to “eighteen percent”. An average of 20 percent of the population of the United States suffers from a mental illness in a given year, and 50 percent receive a diagnosis in a lifetime. 400 random samples of news stories about mental illness in “high-circulation, high-viewership media outlets” in the United States over a 20-year period were analysed. The topic mentioned most frequently was violence (55 percent), followed by violence against others (38 percent) and a 29 percent link between mental illness and suicide. Treatment however is mentioned in almost half of the samples however, only 14 percent describe successful “treatments for or recovery from mental illness”. One of the most pertinent media coverages are mass shootings by people with mental illnesses which increased over the study period from “9 percent of news stories in the first decade, to 22 percent in the second decade” however according to the FBI, statistics have remained steady over the time period. Study leader Emma E. “Beth” McGinty, does understand that it is hard not to assume mental illness is a factor in the lives of the people committing these violent acts. A statement from McGinty says “Anyone who kills people is not
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