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The Psyche of America – Mentally Disturbed


The Psyche of America – Mentally Disturbed

  Why are so many Americans diagnosed with mental disorders and a lot more going undefined? An estimated 22.1% of Americans ages 18 and older-about 1 in 5 adults-suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year. When applied to the 1998 U.S. Census residential population estimate, this figure translates to 44.3 million people. In addition, 4 of the 10 leading causes of disability in the U.S. and other developed countries are mental disorders – major depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Many people suffer from more than one mental disorder at a given time. President Obama just signed an executive order that allowed at least another 44 million Americans to be covered under the Disabilities Act including those Americans with diabetes, epilepsy, bipolar disorder and PTSD. Add that to the current number covered under the act and you have at least 84 million Americans who come under the American Disabilities Act. That’s more than one in four Americans who qualify as being disabled. Excluding diabetes and epilepsy which account for about 30 million cases, 50 million cases are mental illnesses. 1/6 of the American population has been diagnosed with mental disorders, and I’m sure the amount is higher than that. Why?

     Can the cause of these mental disorders be the way we live, the American culture? Yes! Freedom comes with a price. So does being the most powerful nation on the planet. It’s opinionated not factious therefore there’s more than one mindset and this could definitely boggle the mind. For Example TV, there’s like 500 channels with 500 opinions, pretty much people are channel surfing most of the time or living their fantasy through visualization. This is even facilitated on the Internet. Out of our five senses vision is the most susceptible to influence. TV plays a big part in almost everything that you say, eat, dress, and feel daily. Many people involved with creativity and arts, such as Vincent van Gogh, are believed to have suffered from bipolar disorder. Art is the greatest form of expression.

    How about living conditions, of course, if you’re poor you are surely stressed out. You lack or are in short supply for essential resources like money, food, clothing and shelter. The numbers of the mentally sick are similar in comparison to the middle-class, but only 1/3 poor low income people receive mental health care. Maybe that’s why there’s a liquor store in every corner in the hood instead of a health clinic. In the hood the form to take that mental pain away is hurting yourself or someone else. Most people that suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, live in a neighborhood with a high crime rate, also the prison system and the Military system factors in this diagnosis.  And we all know in order to enjoy the great liberties and freedoms this country has to offer, we must constantly stay at war.

   We are sick, how do we counter this sickness? Well, there’s the obvious, better living conditions but other than that we need to fight for better mental health care. This epidemic cannot be ignored, also people need to realize that having multiple mood swings, being depressed and being deprived of sleep is not something to ignore. The best way to solve problems is to talk about it, let it out, nobody is perfect, and as it is within American culture, you need to stand your ground, or it will drive you into the ground. Don’t fall victim, awareness is the key.


M. Foley


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