Addressing and Dealing With Mental Health Stigmas

Stigmas and mental illnesses result in devastating discrimination to those in our nation suffering with mental illness. One just has to review mental health stigma statistics as well as mental illness discrimination statistics to determine that the most severe problems with mental illness in America lies with our perceptions.

Perceptions and stigma could be the most difficult thing to change. After all, billions of dollars a year are spent on advancing the latest medicines and technology to benefit mental illness in America. But how much is spent on correcting the bogus stigmas many of us have on mental illness?

This article will reveal the overwhelming effects of stigmas and mental illnesses. What are the mental health stigma statistics? By embracing them, perhaps we can begin to view mental illness in America for what it is. In effect, perhaps this new way of thinking will allow those with mental illnesses to be treated equally.

The Effects of Stigma and Mental Illnesses

The most difficult part about correcting stigmas and mental illnesses, is to acknowledge the destruction that they have caused to the nearly one in five Americans who have a mental illness, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. The first step in realizing the consequences of incorrectly stigmatizing mental illness is to observe mental illness discrimination statistics.

Those living with mental illnesses deserve the same rights as every American. Isn’t that the most basic freedom Americans receive at birth? Mental illness in America is governed by the same laws as everyone else, but how these rights are enforced are not always ethical or orderly. As a result, society acquires a tainted and often malicious attitude towards mental illness in America. Initially, let us get a glimpse of how our stigmas affect those with mental illnesses.

How Mental Illness is Treated in the Courtroom

It is a fact that people with mental illnesses are more likely to be imprisoned and are less likely to be offered appropriate treatment while incarcerated. According to a report by the Treatment Advocacy Center, three times as many people are incarcerated than are in hospitals. Still, only a third of prison inmates get mental health treatment. 

The consequences of such social injustice are immense. For starters, many of these people with mental illnesses committed their crimes because of their mental illness. By locking them up and refusing them treatment is depriving them of justice as well as allowing their illness to continue. Most likely, when these untreated prisoners are released they will be more inclined to commit crimes. And thus, perpetuating this system of injustice.

How Mental Illness is Treated at Work

The most damaging consequence of stigmas and mental illnesses, is our society’s inclination not to hire people with mental illness. According to a study, many people with mental illnesses are either unemployed or underemployed. In essence, this stigma results in our mentally ill population as being viewed as incompetent thus, getting a lower paycheck and not much access to quality employment.

Without the employment opportunities as everyone else, those suffering with mental illness in America will potentially choose to consume drugs or alcohol and commit crimes. This does not mention the ethical ramifications of such employment practices. 

Those with mental illness in America are forced to remain unemployed or at best, work the same jobs their whole lives given to teenagers. Effectively, such a stigma begins to convince the mentally ill that they do not deserve anything better.

How Mental Illness is Viewed by Healthcare Professionals

According to this study, mentally ill people generally die 25 years younger than the rest of our population. A huge reason for this eye opening statistic, are the stigmatized perceptions of the medical profession. 

According to this clinical study, health care providers were more likely to assume that patients with mental illnesses would refuse treatment, so wind up not even offering the treatment. Psychiatrists may even hold damaging perceptions of those with mental illnesses, resulting in adverse treatment.

How Mental Illness is Treated in Payment for Care

Despite the massive amount of people suffering from mental illness in America, the cost of treating such an illness is immense. Ever since 2014, most insurance group health plans are required to cover mental health and substance abuse. One of the requirements for a plan to be featured on Obamacare’s Insurance Marketplace is that the plan covers mental health. 

Still, in 2019, mental health treatment and services cost the country $225 billion, according to an Open Minds Market Intelligence Report.  

Medicaid and Medicare laws discriminate against those suffering from mental health. For example, Medicare beneficiaries are limited to just 190 days of lifetime inpatient psychiatric care. What about patients with chronic mental disorders, who won’t feel better after 190 days? Another law prohibits Medicaid funding for non-elderly adults receiving psychiatric care in a hospital with more than sixteen beds. You could go through every physical health textbook, and will not find such a bizarre claim for any other condition. 

Ultimately, such payment discrimination will make those with mental illnesses pay much more for treatment. Meanwhile, the mentally ill are discriminated against at the workplace as well, so they won’t be able to afford treatment. Without treatment, the mentally ill will be forced to steal money or consume drugs and alcohol. Thus, locking them up behind bars. This vicious cycle will only end with the abolition of stigmas and mental illnesses.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment is an Effective Form of Mental Health Treatment

freedom from stigmas and mental illnesses

As detailed in this article, people suffering from mental health need a lot of money to pay for their treatment. Unfortunately, mental health stigmas often makes it difficult for those with mental illness to get good jobs, or at least any employment. As a result, many times people with mental illnesses find themselves committing crimes to make money to survive. They might also resort to the consumption of alcohol or drugs. 

If such a mental health patient finally receives treatment for either one of these disorders and not the other, the chances that the disorders will return are very high. In many degrees, the substance abuse is a reaction to the mental health disorder. If the addiction is cured, the mental health disorder remains intact. 

Dual diagnosis is when a medical professional diagnoses a patient with alcohol or drug abuse as well as another medical condition, often these conditions are related to mental health. Often, a mental health disorder and a substance abuse disorder feed off of each other. 

Finding the Facility that Offers the Treatment that one Needs Can be a Chore

Treating mental health along with a substance abuse disorder is often a difficult task. But as noted earlier, the proper treatment is imperative. Someone with mental health and a substance abuse disorder can go through years of treatment. But if the treatment does not focus on all of their disorders, despite the tremendous recovery they might have made, all advances will get dashed against the rocks. 

Although one disorder might have occurred before the other, both disorders will strengthen the other. In this tangled mesh, physicians may find it difficult to separate the causes caused by each individual disorder. For example, one patient deals with the pain of their mental disorder by taking drugs or is their personality disorder caused by substance abuse?

How Do Treatment Centers Provide Dual Diagnosis Treatment?

Not every rehab facility offers dual diagnosis treatment. Coastal Detox is a nationally recognized facility that offers detox for every sort of addiction. At our facility, a carefully designed detox program is the first step in treating a dual diagnosis. 

Although the length of treatment can vary for different patients, Coastal Detox stresses the importance of not being discharged until one receives the full benefits of treatment. 

Because dual diagnosis is actually treating two disorders, such treatment often requires more attention in the form of a long-term residential program that offers therapy options.

Residential treatment includes:

  • Individual counseling therapy
  • Mutual support groups
  • Pharmacotherapy
  • Couples counseling
  • Assistive services

Contact Coastal Detox Today

Even if you or your loved one does not wind up using Coastal Detox, a call to one of their experienced operators will often lead patients in the right direction. If you or your loved one is seeking abstinence from substance abuse while also dealing with another mental health disorder, Coastal Detox is a good starting place. 

A visit to their website will validate the facility’s dedication and experience. They are prepared to detox anyone suffering from hundreds of different sorts of dual diagnoses, everything from eating disorders to bipolar disorders. 

According to mental health discrimination statistics, as a people, we have a lot to do to improve the lives of the mentally ill. We must start with changing our stigmatized views.

References:

https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/mental-illness#:~:text=Mental%20illnesses%20are%20common%20in,mild%20to%20moderate%20to%20severe.

https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0149206317741194

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4978675/

Connor Barton
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2022-06-03
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2022-05-20
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2022-05-04
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2022-05-04
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2022-02-26
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