History of Mental Illness Stigma

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The stigma surrounding mental health and illness affects people struggling with mental conditions. According to Mannarini and Rossi (2019), “many persons suffering from common mental disorders may not receive appropriate (therapeutic) social support due to the community’s lack of awareness” (p. 1). In turn, a historical understanding of how individuals with mental illness were treated can help in reducing negative views and improving treatment, prevention, and services for affected people due to several reasons.

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In particular, awareness of the problem allows understanding of the adverse effects of stigma on people with mental illness and society at a broader level. Throughout history, mental health problems were often associated with supernatural phenomena and evil spirits, causing fear, prejudice, discrimination, and inhumane treatment methods. Even as mental hospitals appeared, they had cruel, inappropriate, and harmful approaches, affecting people’s lives tremendously. For instance, it took years for society to recognize lobotomy as morally wrong. As can be seen, looking at the historical cases of mistreatment can highlight the need for ethical, effective, and supportive treatment options.

Furthermore, stigma can be reduced if people realize how long the list of historical figures with mental illness is. For instance, Abraham Lincoln, Edvard Munch, Vincent Van Gogh, Charles Dickens, Isaac Newton, Pablo Picasso, Ernest Hemingway, and many other famous people with mental health problems contributed to society in various ways (Theodoros, 2018). At the same time, most of them had tragic fates due to a lack of support or effective treatment. Therefore, people with mental illnesses should not be discriminated against or treated with prejudice. Instead, a historical perspective on mental health problems emphasizes the need for improved treatment and prevention methods to promote emotional and psychological well-being.

References

Mannarini, S., & Rossi, A. (2019). Assessing mental illness stigma: A complex issue. Frontiers in Psychology, 9, 1-5. Web.

Theodoros. (2018). These 20 historical figures with severe mental issues helped shape the world. History Collection. Web.

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PsychologyWriting. (2022, November 20). History of Mental Illness Stigma. Retrieved from https://psychologywriting.com/history-of-mental-illness-stigma/

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PsychologyWriting. (2022, November 20). History of Mental Illness Stigma. https://psychologywriting.com/history-of-mental-illness-stigma/

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"History of Mental Illness Stigma." PsychologyWriting, 20 Nov. 2022, psychologywriting.com/history-of-mental-illness-stigma/.

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PsychologyWriting. (2022) 'History of Mental Illness Stigma'. 20 November.

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PsychologyWriting. 2022. "History of Mental Illness Stigma." November 20, 2022. https://psychologywriting.com/history-of-mental-illness-stigma/.

1. PsychologyWriting. "History of Mental Illness Stigma." November 20, 2022. https://psychologywriting.com/history-of-mental-illness-stigma/.


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PsychologyWriting. "History of Mental Illness Stigma." November 20, 2022. https://psychologywriting.com/history-of-mental-illness-stigma/.