Is mental illness more common or are they being diagnosed more ?

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  1. NGRIA Bassett profile image59
    NGRIA Bassettposted 14 years ago

    It seem as if there is more acceptance of mental illness today but is that so?

    1. Lady_E profile image63
      Lady_Eposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      I think they are being diagnosed more.

      Sometimes, I think it's just used as a cover up. For instance, situations when people get attacked for no reason and in Court, the Lawyer representing the accused, put's it down to his Client suffering from a Mental disorder.

      Leona Lewis was signing her book for fans in a store weeks ago. A man just walked up to her and punched her in the head. They sectioned him under the Mental Health Act.

    2. wyanjen profile image71
      wyanjenposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      Acceptance from the medical community, yes.
      Acceptance from the health insurance industry, no.

      I think more folks are getting diagnosed in small part because people themselves are seeking it. I don't mean in a "I need an excuse" way, but rather, by realizing they have a disorder that can be helped. In past generations, by my personal experience, folks would just endure it not understanding that there is a condition there that could be treated.

      1. Laura Schneider profile image84
        Laura Schneiderposted 14 years agoin reply to this

        I agree, and I think also there are more and better treatments available now for all kinds of illnesses. Mass media has educated people that there are drugs that can help them feel better, and I've seen dramatic results in several people I know.

    3. Wagle 3 profile image39
      Wagle 3posted 14 years agoin reply to this

      Dear Mrs.Basset! Mental illness are much more common, than we will realize i am happy to tell you. But there are a lot of fear about mental illnesses.You see that if we take away the fear and set the things in right perspektive and do somthing aktive,then you can learn to live with it.Mental illness is quite common ,and at the same stadium, as for example isias or a broken arm.If you take a way the fear and go see a docktor at early stadium at the illness, then the chanses to get well are moore then see Mrs.Basset! It is werry important to take the medizine, and maybe this was only fore a little periode, and the illness will never come back.And dont sit alone and worry when you are sick fore a minor periode, get out and yoin friends, go fore a walk  and even better, yoin a fitness club and start fysical gymnasticks.And you can also start with drawing and paintings.When you paint, even if it is with no motive but absrakt motives, you are on a good way of "forgetting your ilness and starting to shape a new and possitive way of thinking." Yust try it!!! And at last: So many as one of five will be ill, one time in liftime.And see a docktor early at the illness stadium.Get well regards Wagle 3

    4. profile image0
      Brenda Durhamposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      It shouldn't be "accepted" so much that it becomes thought of as normal. But there's more understanding of it and more help for it, or at least the medical field is trying to help more.
      Not so long ago, most people with mental illness were put in institutions;  at least in the U.S., from what I understand.   Many of those institutions performed secret or unwarranted experiments on helpless mental patients, corrupting the field.
      I know the State Hospital in Indiana was shut down after the horrors that went on there were revealed.
      But yeah now doctors seem to be too free with handouts of medications....another form of "experimentation" anyway, but this time with the consent of the patient.   Not sure which is more inhumane in the long run, since the new freedom also can have adverse affects on, and place huge burdens on, both the patient and others in the outside world if the situation isn't diagnosed and handled correctly.   But people do seem to have more compassion for those with mental problems, and that's great.

  2. prettydarkhorse profile image55
    prettydarkhorseposted 14 years ago

    they are being diagnosed more so that psychiatrist can have a job

  3. retellect profile image72
    retellectposted 14 years ago

    I think it just due to advances, nowadays doctors are finding out more illnesses than before................I put it down to more efficient methods of diagnosis

  4. mega1 profile image81
    mega1posted 14 years ago

    I think we are all talking about mental illness more, its more acceptable as a topic - before the millenium that was certainly not the case.  If someone in your family had these kind of problems they were hidden and no one wanted to discuss the subject.  But acceptance of the fact of mental illness is still lacking - and people who have mental problems definitely feel the continuing social stigma.  They are treated as if they were less intelligent and were still children, when in actuality sometimes people with super-intelligence are considered mentally ill. Sometimes when people are otherwise very sane, just very very sensitive, they get labelled crazy! We have a long way to go on this subject.

  5. itcoll profile image59
    itcollposted 14 years ago

    they have become common.And i think they will become even more common if the current lifestyle is not changed.

    1. h.a.borcich profile image60
      h.a.borcichposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      I agree. There have been many advances making life better - medicines, food storage, etc. But I think lifestyles have deteriorated a lot. We worry and multitask to the point we think we are nuts. Who knows what effect all the chemicals in our food and pullution do to our minds too.
      Now people can talk about it and seek help, but I don't think we know just how many live with mental illness. We even have new ones like OCD that were not heard of 40 years ago.
      We may live better, but I think our lifestyles have much to do with mental illness IMHO.
      Be well, Holly

  6. UPStar profile image60
    UPStarposted 14 years ago

    An interesting topic. I think there are many reasons we see/experience more mental illness, as well as more being diagnosed with such. One in particular I will put out there: I think our American society at large has lost it's ability to teach people personal responsibilty. This carries over to a sense that we can just be/do/say whatever we want and not exercise control and restraint. We medicate our kids to control them instead of using loving discipline and medicate ourselves instead of dealing with our problems.
    I KNOW there are many other reasons and not all fall under this. I just work with troubled youth and this is something I regularly encounter.

  7. Rik Ravado profile image87
    Rik Ravadoposted 14 years ago

    I agree with other posts.  Things are improving with mental health issues and there is more acceptance (but not enough). 

    However, the medical model of mental illness, where drugs play a key part is no longer working.  This model has been around for over 100 years but no longer works in today's stressful society.

    There is a new movement called the Recovery Model that is now official policy with the UK National Health Service.  This involves a much more holistic approach and is more about self awareness, self management and embraces spirituality as well as drug treatments.  The goal is to restore people so they can live a meaningful and forfilling life.

    I think there is a particular problem in the US where private health care means there is a tendancy to allow the drugs industry to push too many drugs at the ill and deliver treatments that are linked to profit.  Clinicians can have a vested interest in inventing 'new' illnesses or diagnosing conditions where they don't really exist.

  8. prettydarkhorse profile image55
    prettydarkhorseposted 14 years ago

    I am just amazed about the statistics on how many cases of mental illnesses are there in the more developed countries. In Asia, it is almost non existent, and you have to go to the city to find psychiatrist etc, the ratio is like 1 psychiatrist to every ten million people...Only the rich people are treated by the way and are prone to mental illnesses

    the question is, is it a function of defining the illness,

    there are many stakeholders here, the psychiatrist association, pharmacist/drug manufacturers, government, and the people.I am not sure that the cases are increasing because of our lifestyle (We cant attest to that)..we dont have data

    puzzling is that there are a lot of cases diagnosed in the western countries than the eastern ones. I never heard soembody treated for depression when i was in Manila, Philippines, but I was shocked when I came here in the US..

    1. profile image0
      ryankettposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      Is everybody happy in Manila? If they are so happy then why do so many wish to leave?

      1. prettydarkhorse profile image55
        prettydarkhorseposted 14 years agoin reply to this

        economic reason only, and then they wish to come back and be at home with their family

        1. profile image0
          ryankettposted 14 years agoin reply to this

          So, if a Filipino woman marries an American man.... it is solely for Economic reasons? Is it never for love? Would that Filipino woman be happy with the American man if they lived in the Phillipines with very little money? All hypothetical I know but I am just curious. I know a Filipino woman who has married a British man and lives in the UK, she has a child with the British man, but left her other two children back in the Phillipines? Is this not unfair on her children? I know that the culture is very different.... but I would choose my children over money I guess (although I have no children).

          1. prettydarkhorse profile image55
            prettydarkhorseposted 14 years agoin reply to this

            I really dont know about other cases of intermarriages and how will this affect family left behind. I am sure people will not marry because of money alone, if there are cases, thats their personal take,

            All I know is that millions of Filipinoes work overseas to have a good life for their children..

            I can guarantee you that Filipinas are one of the best mothers in the world..., but I cant speak of all the women out there.

            Sorry to all, we are veering away from the topic..

            1. emievil profile image68
              emievilposted 14 years agoin reply to this

              Sorry, can't help but butt in. My answer is yes and no. There are Filipinas / Filipinos who marry foreigners for love and there are those who don't. It's a fact of life that I don't think is solely applicable to us Filipinos. But one thing is for sure, even if those Filipinas did not marry for love, I'm sure they are still good wives to their husbands.

              As to the children who are left, sometimes the mother really has no choice. I can speak from experience because my niece was left with us as my sister has to work abroad to earn money. As PDH said, they just want the best for their children.

      2. emievil profile image68
        emievilposted 14 years agoin reply to this

        It's not really on happiness ryan, although some surveys have pointed out that Filipinos, in general, are a happy lot.

        For one, most Filipinos can't afford the professional fees of the psychiatrists. For another, there's the negative connotation if you go to a psychiatrist here. The thinking here is if you go to one, you are insane (not only mentally 'ill'). Or you are going through an annulment and want the psychiatrist to 'certify' that your husband or wife is psychologically incapacitated - one of the grounds for an annulment.

    2. Rik Ravado profile image87
      Rik Ravadoposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      I think it may also be about lifestyle and aspirations.  I think expectations in US/Europe are increasingly unrealistic and marriage/relationship breakdowns and increasing expectations of material possessions in an economic downturn are increasing stress and causing more breakdowns and mental health problems.  However medication alone isn't the answer!

      1. prettydarkhorse profile image55
        prettydarkhorseposted 14 years agoin reply to this

        I agree

  9. cheaptrick profile image72
    cheaptrickposted 14 years ago

    Carl Jung said a little Neurosis makes people interesting.Psychology in the wrong hands can be lethal.Many of the people who practise it entered the field to FIX there own problems.Also,psychotropic drugs for the most part have the worst side effects of all categories.Therapy should be approached with extreme caution.The wrong therapist combined with the wrong drugs has caused many a suicide.I.M.O,meditation,contemplation, and self exploration is the safest way to good mental health...

    1. mega1 profile image81
      mega1posted 14 years agoin reply to this

      Out of sincere interest in people and what makes them tick, including myself - I kinda study psych - I think nowadays we're just not afraid to be vocal about mental illness, and the stigma is fading - also we recognize that people are all different, just because someone is WAY DIFFERENT why we must call it an ILLNESS I will never know.  Its interesting to me that people tend to react to the world in certain predictable ways, and there are so many people who fall into neat classifications, that's what I wonder about. Is it because psychiatrists are looking for certain behaviors that they find them? I kinda think so from experience.  Been diagnosed as several really very different things and they just happened to be the Dr's "specialty" !!!smile

  10. Ms Chievous profile image67
    Ms Chievousposted 14 years ago

    Yes I beleive things are being diagnosed more by family physcians who are not really qualified to give out medications.   Often family doctors give out medications for anxiety or pain and people become dependent and addicted to them. I often see patients who claim to be bipolar yet do not test as bipolar.   Substance abuse is a big part of mental illness. I see a lot of young people either addcited to pain meds or trying to medicate their true mental ill ness with substance...

    1. mega1 profile image81
      mega1posted 14 years agoin reply to this

      Is there a blood test for bipolar? or is it written?  smile

      1. Ms Chievous profile image67
        Ms Chievousposted 14 years agoin reply to this

        It is based on a combination of your responses to some psychological tesitng and family history and one's observed behaviors

  11. Bovine Currency profile image60
    Bovine Currencyposted 14 years ago

    Overdiagnosis.  Pharmaceutical revenue raising.  Dramatic laziness.  Reverse stigma.  We are all sick but the hype has gone on long enough.  Script writing is out of control.  The rate of diagnosis, in depression more than anything is far more alarming than mental illness and in particular the lack of awareness that psychiatric medications are dangerous.  There are serious side effects and they are moderate to high frequency side effects.  Most psychiatric drugs include a moderate risk of worsening depression and anxiety.  Also risk of worse mental problems.  I for one am sick and tired of it.  Mental illness is the hot topic of medicine and why not.  It is money grubbing public relations at its finest.

  12. dyonder profile image73
    dyonderposted 14 years ago

    Just one example of many … /64/9/1032
    The study compares rates of patients from 1994-1995 to those of 2002-2003. I didn't really have time to follow the money trail on this study, and it is a bit old, yet revealing, at least of one 'diagnosed disorder'.

    1. Bovine Currency profile image60
      Bovine Currencyposted 14 years agoin reply to this

      I am not motivated at this moment because it is past 3 am where I am and I have had a very long day but there are some stats about on the internet regarding the huge exponential growth in profits with the birth of the prozac boom.  SSRI anti-depressants where the big pig for pharmaceutical companies.  They have seriously hit the big time with those.  Maybe I will find the stats later in the week.  Would be a great hub but I am in the process of moving house and only recently back from long holiday overseas/marriage break up/career change! tongue

  13. dyonder profile image73
    dyonderposted 14 years ago … I-data.htm
    A bit more of it. I had to write a paper a few months ago about all of this and it's amazing (though it really shouldn't be) how deep the hole goes in this subject matter.
    The shrewd business man is able to convince the mark he needs what he really doesn't want. Personally, I think this is one of those instances; unfortunately it's our future generations we've allowed to be diagnosed with mental illnesses that were once just considered a normal part of growing up. I think the 'fear culture' played a big part of this - parents didn't want their children to turn into Columbine shooters (curiously enough, one of whom was on medication that had psychosis as a side effect)so they trusted big pharma, and its reps, to make them all better.
    & the future: from … cience.pdf - the phrases were taken from the same paragraph, yet no where in the document is any connection made between the two
    'Medically, amphetamines are used to treat children with ADHD. ....Nonmedical use of amphetamines (& other stimulants) is a growing world wide problem'

  14. profile image0
    poetlorraineposted 14 years ago

    people are not too embarrased to admit to it , maybe as once they were.

  15. profile image0
    lyricsingrayposted 14 years ago

    Having mental illness myself since the age of 14 I tend to think it is over diagnosed from what I have seen.  Or maybe too quickly diagnosed.  A diagnosis takes a few years of symptoms to determine what is fact.  I only hope the ones who need to be diagnosed aren't overlooked.

  16. glorybeenow profile image60
    glorybeenowposted 13 years ago

    I think a lot of what causes mental illness today is the very thing they give you to help you deal with it... "Anti-depressants" and others. I know people who were just a little stressed and then were put on meds to make them feel better, then they really lost it.

  17. TheGlassSpider profile image64
    TheGlassSpiderposted 13 years ago

    There IS more mental illness legitimately, but there is also over-diagnosis--especially of certain disorders.

    1. figment profile image74
      figmentposted 13 years agoin reply to this


  18. donotfear profile image83
    donotfearposted 13 years ago

    Specific behaviors that have been given a name. Real mental illness is in many forms. The 3 major mental illnesses: Major Depressive Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, and Schizophrenia. Then there are anziety disorders, phobias and so forth. Whatever way you look at it, being able to put a name with the behavior/symptom is helpful.

  19. profile image0
    sneakorocksolidposted 13 years ago

    I think there's more and more pressure to keep up and there's a better understanding of how people act and

  20. Deen Mohd Dar profile image60
    Deen Mohd Darposted 11 years ago

    i want to give every one this good information that i have found a good mental health organization where every mentally ill people can get help from mental experts like psychiatrists and psychologists.this help is online and free.
    About Mental

  21. BlissfulWriter profile image73
    BlissfulWriterposted 11 years ago

    Mental illness is more common, just as autoimmune conditions are becoming more common.  This due to in part to the changes in our food processing, toxins, and pesticides and our diet.   We are straying away from whole natural foods.  And everyone is avoiding fat and cholesterol.  And not eating enough fish.   And we are consuming more pesticide, more toxins (in the form of pesticides and natural toxin like gluten), and more pharmaceutics.    All these factors is unbalancing our brains.   Our brains wants fat and cholesterol and B vitamins from whole foods.  It does not want pesticide residues on our fruits and vegetables and excess use of drugs.    That is why mental illness is more prevalent in modern society more than in traditional societies.

  22. galleryofgrace profile image71
    galleryofgraceposted 11 years ago

    More children are being diagnosed with mental disorders for several reasons. The main one being teens have existed on chemicals in their diets. This has to have a negative effect. Parents are more lacking in parental skills and supervision because they have to be out working . "keep them busy - with games, TV, cellphones and God forsaken so-called music and they can only become  a product of their environment.

  23. lanablackmoor profile image84
    lanablackmoorposted 11 years ago

    I believe that mental illness is being diagnosed more. I doubt the rates have gone up. Instead, I think we see an increase in mental illness statistics due to the fact that mental illness is studied and understood scientifically now (for the most part,) as opposed to spiritually or morally. Women used to be diagnosed with hysteria, for instance, when often the issue present, if any, was far more complex. Likewise, there are many disorders now that manifest in symptoms that would have once been considered demonic, such as bipolar, depression and schizophrenia, to name a few.

    I think another factor is the gradual ebbing away of the taboo that surrounds psychiatric and psychological help. It seems that almost everyone at least knows someone in therapy, so it's a bit harder to stereotype individuals who seek help. Thus, people are more comfortable coming out of the disorder closet. I view the statistical spikes as a positive, honestly. To me it simply means that more people are comfortable speaking out about their mental health.

    That's not to say there aren't any other reasons for the increase. I'm sure that the modern environment does contribute in ways to the prevalence of certain disorders.


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