Philosophy · School · Uncategorized

My Philosophy Presentation on Mental Illness as Disability

Olivia

Founder of Millennial Girl, Interrupted, a senior in a small Connecticut high school. I've been through many treatments and recoveries and am eager to share the lessons I've learned!

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I’m taking this amazing upper level Philosophy course titled The Ethics of Diversity. In this class, we are each allowed to spearhead our own day of discussion about a particular sector of diversity. I immediately chose neuro-diversity. My partner for the day is discussing The Minority Body and its corresponding implications for physical disability. My half of the 1.5 hours is going to be on mental illness.

I figured I’d share my presentation with you all. It’s pretty elementary but it’s a passable summary of mental illness for someone who hasn’t been exposed to it before.

 


 

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INITIAL QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER

When you think of a “mental hospital,” what word(s) comes to mind?

What are your experiences, family/friend/personal/otherwise, with mental health, mental illness, and mental disability?

If you began to experience overwhelming sadness, fear/stress, or started hearing voices or having thoughts you couldn’t control, etc, do you know who you would go to?

 

 

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DISORDER AND DISABILITY

Disability: A physical or mental condition that limits a person’s movements, senses, or activities.

… A disadvantage or handicap, especially one imposed or recognized by the law. — OED

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POST WORLD WAR 2: EVERYTHING CHANGES

  • Post-war emphasis on psycho-dynamism, study of psychiatry in universities, and third party insurance.
  • NIMH (National Institute for Mental Health) established, who funds research.
  • Psychotropic medications introduced.
  • Medicaid/Medicare/Social Security allowed for folks to graduate from hospitals.
  • Community Health Centers / Hospitals now focused on…

1.) Prevention
2.) Early Detection + Treatment
3.)  Follow up care

 

DEINSTITUTIONALIZATION DEBATE

PRO

End barbaric treatments like lobotomies/shock

Keeps the mentally ill involved in their communities and family systems.

Saves money?

CON

Not replaced with adequate community care (Reagan defunded).

Not enough beds for those who need them (bed = spot in hospitals).

Replaced by incarceration.

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PICTURED: Top right-Silver Hill Hospital, Bottom left-Mclean Hospital, Bottom right-Four Winds Hospital

LEVELS OF CARE

Outpatient Treatment —>

       ( Therapist, Psychologist, Psychiatrist, Social Worker )

             Day Treatment —>

                      Residential Treatment —>

                              Hospital/Inpatient Units 

 

MODERN INCARCERATION OF THE MENTALLY ILL

In a mental health crisis, people are more likely to encounter police than get medical help. As a result, 2 million people with mental illness are booked into jails each year. Nearly 15% of men and 30% of women booked into jails have a serious mental health condition. — NAMI

Once in prison, minimal access to mental health treatment.
Once out of prison, limited access to public services

African American and Hispanic youth receive 60 – 50 percent less attention to their mental health care — Treatment Advocacy Center

African Americans who commit crimes are less likely to be given a psychiatric evaluation to determine their mental capacity at the time of the offense. – Melissa Thompson, PSU Ph.D

General Statistic: 1 psychiatrist for every 1000 inmates. (For reference, my psychologist has 20 patients).

DISCRIMINATION AND THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT

STIGMA:

Stigma is when someone views you in a negative way because you have a distinguishing characteristic or personal trait that’s thought to be, or actually is, a disadvantage (a negative stereotype). Stigma shames mentally ill folks into silence and prevents them from seeking help. It also makes it difficult for folks to find work, housing, get accepted to schools and programs, etc.
( Words like crazy, insane, psycho, nuts are stigmatizing! )

AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT:

1990 law that prohibits discrimination against people with physical OR mental disabilities in public or private entities.
…. Time for a personal anecdote about school, college and the ADA!

 

WRAP UP

Take a few minutes to discuss what emotions are brought up and remember to take care of yourself (talk with your therapist, other support figures). 

NATIONAL SUICIDE PREVENTION HOTLINE:

1-800-273-8255

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