Stigma of Mental Illness Essay

  • Length: 3 pages
  • Sources: 5
  • Subject: Health (general)
  • Type: Essay
  • Paper: #45220145

Excerpt from Essay :

Schizophrenia, Dissociative Disorder and Bipolar Disorder

While some symptoms of schizophrenia, dissociative disorder and bipolar disorder might seem similar, prompting individuals to suspect that the three different mental health disorders are interchangeable, the reality is that these three problems are quite distinct. This paper will discuss the broad differences between them as well as way to educate the client about his or her disorder, his or her family about it, and ways to reduce stigma.

As the DSM-5 points out, schizophrenia a mental disorder that causes the patient to experience hallucinations, delusions, irrational speech patterns, anti-social behavior, a loss of willpower/motivation, or even a possible catatonic state at times. Symptoms include incoherent speech, paranoia, distorted perceptions, confused or disordered thinking, and an inability to concentrate. This broad spectrum of symptoms should be seen for at least a month, with behavior being monitored for up to six months (American Psychiatric Association, 2013).

Bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive disorder, as its latter name suggests causes the sufferer to experience wild swings in mood from intense euphoria to major depression. Bipolar patients tend to have grandiose ideas about what they can accomplish during their manic episodes and then when they experience a crash in mood, the depression sets in and a great feeling of despair overwhelms them.

Dissociative disorder occurs when two or more distinct personalities, each with their own self-identity, vie for control within a person’s consciousness (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). Memory recall is affected as the split personalities take control. Some form of trauma may be the cause of this disorder.

Educating the client about his or her disorder should focus on letting the client know that he or she is not defenseless. Many people have been diagnosed with these disorders and have gone on to have normal, functioning lives (Saks, 2009). With the help of a strong support system, medication if necessary, and therapy such as cognitive behavioral therapy, these disorders can be effectively treated (Hooley, Butcher, Nock & Mineka, 2017). Keeping a positive and optimistic outlook can help the patient to alleviate stress and fear surrounding his or her condition. Likewise, it is important to invite the patient to partake in the development of the treatment process. The more engaged the patient feels during the treatment development process, the more likely the patient is to take ownership of the treatment and experience positive returns once it is implemented (Foo et al., 2017).

Additionally, educating the family of the patient is also important. As Saks (2009) points out, a great deal of fear and prejudice based on ignorance of the disorder can cause people to demonstrate bias towards others. People who do not understand the nature of a disorder or who think it might be contagious will make for bad supports for the patient. They must either be educated or replaced with more sympathetic and knowledgeable people who can provide the support that the patient will need during the treatment process. Patients first…

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