The United States’ Lack Of Mental Health Care

1913 words - 8 pages

About 75-80 million people in the United States are mentally ill to some extent (For the Mentally Ill, Finding Treatment Grows Harder). Many people are unaware of the treatments for the mentally ill and how few resources are available. Yes, if society looks from where society has come with the development of treatments, it has come a long ways. There is still more knowledge to be uncovered to ensure the United States gives the mentally ill care equal to what the United States gives the physically ill. Even though research has advanced immensely in the understanding of sanity vs. insanity, the United States needs to do more for those who are mentally ill through diagnosis and aid.
“Mental illness refers to a wide range of mental health conditions — disorders that affect your mood, thinking and behavior” (Mayo Clinic). Mental disorders can happen many times through one’s life, but mental illness is classified as an ongoing problem with the symptoms that can affect the ability to perform normal day to day tasks (Mayo Clinic). Many people look at those afflicted with mental disorders as being crazy or clinically insane, while the reality is a problem many people live with on a daily basis with help from medications, psychologist visits, family, friends, help groups, and many other support systems. The lack of support available to mentally ill patients, the more that will refuse treatment and refuse to find help for their disorders. Many people who were born with mental disorders grow up knowing they have a problem, but people who develop them later in age don’t understand how to cope with it.
In prehistory, the idea of a mental illness was challenging to comprehend. The people of these ancient times thought it was magical spirits overcoming the mind. Shamans were called to perform rituals or spells. Shamans also gave the people with mental illness drugs or performed surgeries like trepanning. Trepanning was the process of drilling holes into the skull to help release evil spirits from the brain. Many people surprisingly survived this treatment, showing a survival rate much higher than modern day (Thompson 5-6). Though, there was still immense room for improvement in the treatment of mentally ill people.
From prehistory to Greece, the advancement of knowledge was very evident. There were many different ideas being thrown around by citizens and scholars. Homer proposed that the people who had mental illness had their minds taken from God, while Aeschylus thought mental illness was from demonic possession. Others like Hippocrates thought mental illness came from an imbalance of the 4 humors: blood (air), phlegm (water), yellow bile (fire), and black bile (earth). Aristotle came up with the idea that mental illness came from the inheritance of one’s parents (Thompson 7-8). With the fall of Greece many of their hypotheses and ideas were lost.
After the Greeks had come up with the hypothesis for mental illnesses, the Romans came up with some reasons...

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