Social Stigma on Mental Illnesses

Social Stigma on Mental Illnesses


OCTOBER 19, 2009


What reaction do you have when you hear the word schizophrenia? Do you freak out and think the worst or do you wish to learn more about it? I believe that people have the wrong reaction when it comes to people who have this mental illness. I would like you to pay close attention to the following paragraphs so that you may consider your reactions towards people with illnesses. The thoughts and “labels” society tends to place on those who are ill does not define or determine who they are as people.
To begin let me share with you this short story. There is a boy who is really close to you. He thinks and acts just like you do. He goes to school with you, is in the same grade, and even gets better grades than you do. But, when he is at home he sometimes has these episodes where he sees things, and thinks that people are out to get him. It turns out that he has schizophrenia. But you do not see when all this happens to him. One day, you find out that he goes through these episodes about twice a week. Even though you do not see him go through this, would you treat him the same as you always did or would you pull away from him and leave him as if he were psychotic?
I believe that many people do not take the time to find out what it is that the people who have this mental illness, or any kind of mental illness for that matter, really feel or who they really are. I think that by doing this people will display care ethics toward the person who has the illness. In the text we see Waller say, “In medical care – with patients who are often frightened and vulnerable – a caring perspective is very valuable “(pg. 124. Waller). By caring for the patients, or a friends, feelings we can identify with that person and know how to treat him in a loving way.
In order for you to understand them a little more, let me explain what schizophrenia is. Schizophrenia is a psychiatric mental...

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