Holistic healthcare systems focus on all aspects of a person, including mental, physical, emotional, spiritual, and social wellbeing. Experts in different clinical fields apply their competencies to ensure that all patients record positive experiences and lead high-quality lives. This paper gives a definition of mental illness and explains why there is a need for evidence-based health initiatives to meet the needs of every patient.
Mental Illness: Discussions
Mental conditions or illnesses are widespread and common despite the common belief that they are rare. Nordqvist (2017) defines them as diseases that cause severe or mild disturbances in human behavior, thought-processing abilities, and emotions. The affected patient will be unable to cope with his or her normal routines and roles.
Social Norms and Values
Human values and societal norms tend to mediate this category or field of health. For instance, some social groups assume that individuals with mental illnesses are possessed by devils. Different communities associated these diseases with witchcraft. Underdeveloped societies seek non-conventional treatment methods to meet the needs of their respective patients. In advanced countries, educational programs have informed better social norms whereby people appreciate mental illnesses as natural and normal (Nordqvist, 2017). Consequently, such regions appreciate the power of modern medical practices to improve the health outcomes of the affected citizens.
Similarities and Differences
Mental illness is similar to other diseases affecting mankind since they all affect the normal functioning of the body. Patients suffering from these diseases require medical attention or counseling. Both illnesses have their causal factors and can benefit from advanced care delivery systems (Vigo, Thornicroft, & Atun, 2016). The outstanding difference is that mental diseases affect the brain, thereby disorienting patients’ cognitive abilities.
Differences in Stigma Management
There are unique differences observed when people are reporting mental illnesses. Firstly, more women and children will be presented for medical support after developing these conditions. The number of patients reported is usually higher among minority races. The percentage of recorded cases among the rich remains higher for those from lower classes since they have private doctors (Weitz, 2016). These differences are, therefore, caused by a genetic constitution, economic welfare, financial strength, and social norms. For example, men tend to be ignored because many family members will be unwilling to take care of them. The rich acquire high-quality services for their patients without reporting such illnesses.
50 Years Ago and Now
The advancements and improvements recorded in the US healthcare sector have transformed the experiences of different citizens. Nordqvist (2017) indicates that mental illnesses are today being treated much better than fifty years ago. Many people now appreciate the power of medical research. They also understand the true nature of mental illnesses and why patients require adequate and timely medical attention.
Modern societies are responding to mental illnesses in a positive manner. In the past, some societies were against the welfare of patients affected by such conditions and treated them as outcasts (Vigo et al., 2016). Consequently, a small fraction of patients used to receive suitable medical services. Currently, things have changed since many societies appreciate that mental illnesses are similar to all other diseases. This is the reason why they allow their patients to get timely medical services and therapy.
The above discussion has identified mental illnesses as critical health problems that community members should not ignore. Although positive practices have emerged to empower the affected patients, there is a need for the government to continue providing evidence-based support. Such measures will ensure that the targeted beneficiaries lead high-quality lives.
Nordqvist, C. (2017). What is mental health? Medical News Today. Web.
Vigo, D., Thornicroft, G., & Atun, R. (2016). Estimating the true global burden of mental illness. The Lancet: Psychiatry, 3(1), 171-178. Web.
Weitz, R. (2016). The sociology of health, illness, and health care: A critical approach (7th ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.