Schizophrenia Essay

1577 words - 6 pages

Life altering stressors in an individual’s life are frightening. Stressors are varied and, often, unpredictable. Obtaining medical treatment for a physical illness brings hope and perseverance in the fight for health. Losing a job with health insurance and benefits is overwhelming; however, an independent functioning person, with adequate personal and community resources, begins applying for new employment or career change. Enjoyment of life hobbies and interests will be limited, but basic needs are met and health care obtained. However, there are those who have great difficulty obtaining resources for maintaining basic needs. Persons with mental illness, those who are homeless, pregnant teens, or substance abusers are individuals of the vulnerable population. Poverty and discrimination become the way of their life. How does a mentally ill person navigate through the complex process of obtaining health care within their family or community for optimal functioning?
“A vulnerable population group is a subgroup of the population that is more likely to develop health problems as a result of exposure to risk or to have worse outcomes from these health problems than the rest of the population” (Stanhope & Lancaster, 2008, p.712). Vulnerable populations have limited access to community resources and health coverage. The mentally ill are particularly prone to the lack of support and health care due to stigma. “In the United States, approximately 40 million adults, or 22% of the population, have a mental disorder.” (Stanhope & Lancaster, 2008, p. 786). According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (2008), Schizophrenia affects more than two million Americans, but only one third of those afflicted with this illness actually obtain treatment. It is a mental illness which interferes with a person’s ability to think in an organized manner and the presence of delusions or hallucinations. It is difficult for a person with Schizophrenia to process information logically and apply it to problem solving. These people are often paranoid of others and cannot manage their emotions. Beebe (2007) states that “the symptoms of the disease negatively affect their social functioning, which may result in isolation and lack of social support” (p. 35). In addition, Beebe (2007) cites there is a lack of access to treatment within the community. Due to the psychotic nature of the illness, Schizophrenics question their actual need for medical treatment.
This mental illness is often misunderstood by society. The media portrays the Schizophrenic as having a ‘split personality’ and violent; often attacking people without provocation. Thomicroft, Brohan, Rose, Sartorius, and Reese (2009) state that “people with Schizophrenia experience stigma caused by other people’s lack of knowledge, attitudes, and behavior; this leads to impoverishment, social marginalism, and low quality of life” (p. 408). In addition, the study conducted by Thomicroft, Brohan, Rose,...

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