The Contemporary Concept Of Mental Illness Essay

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The contemporary concept of mental illness is a growing public health concern. Around one in six adults in the UK were suffering from a common mental disorder in 2014 (NHS, 2014). Statistics such as this are discovered by numerous modern studies such as the Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey (2014) which aim to determine prevalence and pattern with the overall aim of offering guidance to the people suffering from these mental health issues, and the disciplines they are involved in. What little stigma remains surrounding the issue of mental illness, is disappearing as the years go by. However, this was not always the case. The rise and fall of the asylum system demonstrate the shift from confinement to care in the community. The following will be a critical discussion of the impact that this asylum system has had on the contemporary understanding of mental health issues, incorporating the theoretical concept of post-structuralism and its underpinning within this context. Classical references to the modern-day concept of mental health have been found within the work of Plato, Hippocrates and Galen (Harris, 2013) and in the fourth and fifth centuries, astrologers began referring to neurological and psychiatric disorders using the term lunacy (Riva et al, 2011: 65-73). Since then, the contemporary concept of mental health became a snowballing topic encapsulating vast changes in discourse and ideas influenced heavily by the changing epistemes of the period.
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