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SOC 2070 Chapter Notes -Mental Disorder, Deinstitutionalisation, World Health Organization

12 pages42 viewsWinter 2013

Department
Sociology
Course Code
SOC 2070
Professor
Linda Hunter

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Deviant Identity and Stigma
Mental Disorders (Bereska Ch 7 pg. 209-234)
-the concept of mental disorder consists of 2 different dimensions: (1) it entails the ex-
perience of the disorder itself, the ways that the illness affects people’s thoughts, feel-
ings or behaviour, (2) a social dimensions - the way others perceive and treat those with
mental illness
-in both dimension, mental disorder enters the realm of deviance
Mental Disorder - a psychological, biological, or behavioural dysfunction that interferes
with daily life (alterations in thinking, mood or behaviour) associated with significant dis-
tress and impaired functioning, such as impaired judgment, behaviour, capacity to rec-
ognize reality or ability to meet the ordinary demands of life
Who Has Mental Disorders?
-can strike anyone
-some social groups are more susceptible than others
-men more likely to get ASPD, substance abuse dependency disorders and conduct
disorders
-depression and anxiety more common in women
-having a lower SES increases risk of mental illness
Social Causation Hypothesis - more life stresses and fewer resources characterize
the lives of the lower class, contributing to the emergence of mental disorders
-this was mentioned in Merton’s strain theory, mental illness is a form of retreatism
where people give up pursuing the goals and the means of attaining goals
Social Selection Hypothesis - people with mental disorders fall into lower economic
strata because of their difficulties in daily functioning
-age is also correlated with mental illness, it is more prevalent among adolescents and
young adults
-biological, psychological and social factors play a role
The Costs of Mental Illness
-research from the more objective end shows that having a mental disorder can contrib-
ute to a wide range of negative life outcomes e.g. teen pregnancy, low education levels,
lower employment, physical ailments
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-insufficiently treated mental disorders also have a considerable impact on society
-2/3 of people who have mental disorders are never treated because of a lack of ser-
vices, perceptions of treatment being inadequate, discomfort with self-disclosure, per-
ceptions of stigmatization
-coming from a more subjectivist perspective, cost-of-illness estimates should be
viewed with some level of caution
-these estimates are not just a product of biochemistry, it interacts with economics and
social norms
-these estimates fail to account the many ways individuals with mental disorder contrib-
ute to society as parents, neighbours, and volunteers
Controlling Mental Disorder: Perceptions, Stigmatization, and Treatment
-the reactions of other people are an integral part of the experience of having a mental
disorder
Stigmatization and Perceptions of Mental Illness
-mental illness in the media is portrayed in an exceedingly negative light
-media imagery has an impact on people’s own perceptions of mental illness
-public attitudes toward mental illness are negative as well
-people with mental disorders are perceived as being unpredictable, violent, dangerous
and uncontrollable
-these attitudes are also found in the medical community
-at a personal level, stigmatization has a negative impact on the quality of life of people
with mental disorders
-the sense of loneliness and isolation that accompanies social rejection can amplify
psychological symptoms, actually making mental illnesses worse
-simply being aware of negative social perceptions of mental illness lowers self-esteem
and increases feelings of demoralization
-this can contribute to self-stigma and consequences similar to those in labeling theory
-stigmatization affects program and policy development
-policies and programs that do exist are embedded with 2 different paradigms of mental
disorder - disease and discrimination
Discrimination Paradigm - proposes that the experience of mental illness is primarily
one of prejudice, discrimination and stigmatization, policies constitute forms of resis-
tance to stigmatization
Disease Paradigm - proposes that the experiences of mental illness is primarily one of
experiencing illness - the signs and symptoms of the disorder, which subsequently hin-
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der the individual’s effective functioning and quality of life, policies revolve around the
medicalization of mental disorder
The Medicalization of Mental Disorder
-psychiatrists determine which thoughts or behaviours constitute mental illness and
then incorporate that into the DSM
-these particular thoughts and behaviours are deviant because they cause significant
distress and impairments in daily functioning
-the provide measures of social control - treatments for mental disorders
The History of Social Control of Mental Illness
-mental illness was seen as demonic possession and treatment was physical torture
-science took over and “madhouses” were created for those with mental illnesses in the
18th century, the purpose was not treatment or rehabilitation but simply warehousing the
disordered
-in the late 19th century, madhouses were replaced by asylums which included some
treatment - this was the era when the medicalization of mental illness came to predomi-
nate in Wester cultures
-asylums later to be known as mental hospitals or psychiatric institutions in the 1950s
-treatment in psychiatric institutions was almost barbaric - e.g. lobotomies
-in the 1950s, people began to wonder how placing people in institutions where they
were dehumanized and isolated could help recover from mental illness
-this led to deinstitutionalization - the social control of mental illness in community-
based programs rather than in institutions
Treating Mental Illness Today
-medicalization s offers an extensive range of treatment options - psychotherapy, cogni-
tive-behavioural therapy, medication, occupational therapy and social supports
-the combination of medical support and psychosocial support is particularly effective
for even the most severe mental illnesses
-as a result of deinstitutionalization, hospitalization is reserved for only the most severe
cases of mental illness, and even then is perceive as a short-term intervention
-hospitalization is primarily voluntary
The Legacy of Deinstitutionalization
-it was perceived as an evolution in treatment that would bring nothing but benefits
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