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Chapter 7

Sociology 2259 Chapter Notes - Chapter 7: Medicalization

Course Code
SOC 2259
Kim Luton

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2 dimensions
1) the experience of the disorder itself—ways it affects thoughts feelings and behaviors
2) social dimension—ways others perceive and treat those with mental illness
^enters deviance through these dimensions
Research on mental disorders:
prevalence patterns
costs of treatment
mental disorder a psychological, biological or behavioural dysfunction that interferes
with daily life—alterations in thinking, mood or behaviour
associated w significant distress and impaired functioning
impaired judgement, behavior, capacity to recognize reality, ability to meet ordinary
demands of life
odistorted thoughts, moods and behaviours of high magnitude and duration
ointerferes with daily functioning
oDSM=diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders
oHealth Canada: 20% of Canadians have a mental illness
o80% of people know someone with a mental illness
omany mental illnesses go unreported: more than 1/3 of people say they have
experienced depression or anxiety
oWHO: mental disorders affect 25% of the population at some point in their lives
o450 mill + are experiencing a mental disorder
omost common mental disorder: depression, anxiety, somatic strike 1/3 individuals
omore than 120 mil ppl in the world have depression
o24 million have schizo
oin total: mental disorders are 1/3 of the disabilities in the world
osome social groups are more susceptible than others
oidentical rates in men and women
odistinct differences in patterns and types of illness between genders
omen antisocial personality disorder (ration 3:1 from men to women), substance
abuse dependency disorders, conduct disorders
ocommon mental disorders (CMD): depression and anxiety—much more common
in women

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owomen in countries throughout the world are more likely to have repression and
anxiety are sociocultural in nature
olinked to particular life stressors and negative life events that are more prevalent
in womens lives
oex. low income or low equality, low or subordinate status, extensive responsibility
for care of others and victimization by violence
opoor people have more mental disorders than others, especially anxiety and
osocial causation hypothesis more life stresses and fewer resources
characterize the lives of the lower class, contributing to the emergence of
mental disorders
life stresses associated with economic difficulties contribute to the
emergence of depression anxiety substance abuse and antisocial
oMerton’s strain theory : mental illness can emerge in response to the gap
between institutionalized goals and legitimate means for attaining those
oretreatism people giving up on pursuing the goals and the legitimate
means of attaining those goals, can include alcoholism drug use and
mental illness
osocial selction hypothesis reverse: people with mental disorders fall into
lower economic strata because of their difficulties in daily functioning
lower strata: schizophrenia, conduct disorders and attention defecit
ocausation depends on the specific mental illness in question
oage is also correlated
omental illness is more prevalent among adolescents and young adults
omost mental disorders first emerge during adolescence and adulthood
obiological factors play a role as do psych and social factors
ostruggles in identity formation
odramatic nature of the transitions that occur after graduating HS
ostress from developoing into adulthood (deciding on education/career,
becoming financially independent, mate-selection process)
ohigh demans of university greater psychological disitress
omore than 30% reported significant levels of psych stress
o½ the US will experience a mental disorder at some point in their life
omental disorders have a considerable impact on peoples lives and larger society
oobjective research: having a mental disorder contributes to a large range of
negative life outcomes
oassociated with higher rates of teen pregnancy and early marriage

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ogreater risk of marital instability
odifficulties for children being raised in those environments
ochildren being raised by mental illnesses are more likely to have problems in
cognitive development as well
olower levels of educational attainment
olower employment rates
olower incomes
oeach year people with mental illnesses earn thousands of dollars less than those
without mental disorders
oindividuals with mental illnesses along with their families must bear direct and
indirect financial costs
osome mental illnesses are correlated with other health risks (ex. depression and
heart disease)
opeople with mental disorders are less likely to comply with medical instructionists
for other physical ailments
ocontributes to an overall shitty life
oinsufficiently treated mental disorders: 5/10 leading causes of disabilities in
Canada are mental illnesses
odepression alone is the 4th leading global disease burden
ohealth care expenses, absences from work and lost tax revenues due to mental
illness cost the Canadian economy more than $14 billion each year
oUS loses 148$ billion a year
olost productivity due to
opremature death from suicide
oabsenteeism from work
oinability to be employed
odecreased productivity at work
ofam members absence from work to care for others
ocan also result in costs associated with ccriminal and or violent behavior
owe would all benefit if people were treated properly, but less than half of
americans have seen professionals about their mental disorder
oworldwide 2/3 of people with mental disorders are never treated
olack of services,
operceptions of treatment being inadequate,
o discomfort with the level of self-disclosure that accompanies diagnosis
and treatment,
o perceptions of stigmatization,
oneglect within their own families and communities
ocost of illness estimates should be viewed with some level of caution
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