serr0098: January 2012 Archives

Chapter 15 presents the history of treating mental illnesses, the different conceptions of mental illnesses, and how people with mental illnesses are affected by their conditions and treated by society. Defining mental illness is difficult because some mental illnesses are common and others are not. Some have stressful side effects while other people do not perceive anything wrong with their behavior. Mental illness also cannot be defined simply by the impairment of a person's day to day life because there are other impairing conditions that are not mental illnesses. Those with mental illnesses are often regarded negatively by society. I was surprised to learn that about 75 percent of TV show characters with mental illnesses are portrayed as being violent, when in fact there is only a small percent of violent people with a mental illness.
I also found it interesting that women are more likely to experience depression than men are. I knew that some women go into a depressive state after giving birth, such as Brooke Shields' publicized struggle in 2005, but I learned that 2 to 3 percent of women experience postpartum obsessive-compulsive disorder. I did not know that some of the symptoms of this disorder are repeatedly checking on their child and fearing that they might physically harm their baby.
brooke shields.jpg

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