There is no clear agreement as to what constitutes “good emotional health,” and it is difficult to measure emotional function with any degree of precision. It is probably safe to say that (1) all people display disorder or inappropriate behavior at certain times, (2) behavior is strongly influenced by an individual’s ethnic and cultural background, and (3) the label of “emotionally disturbed” itself have a negative effect on a person’s behavior and on the way in which other people interact with the individual so labeled.
It is generally agreed, however, that to be classified as having an emotional or behavioral disability that requires treatment, a person’s behavior must deviate markedly and chronically from established societal and cultural norms. The extent to which an individual can function in major life roles is an important rehabilitation consideration, with severe mental illness (or chronic mental illness) defined by diagnosis, duration, and attendant disability.
Role impairment occurs in severe of the following five areas: (1) self care and direction, (2) interpersonal relationships, (3) learning and leisure activities, (4) independent living, and (5) economic self-sufficiency. Caution should always be used in applying the designation of “emotionally disturbed” to anyone. Some individuals with visual impairments have been viewed as exhibiting behavior patterns that are “deviant” or “abnormal” primarily because of others’ limited understanding of blindness and their lack of ability to assess the emotional states of clients who are visually impaired.
Parents as the root of the problem There is a wealth of educational and psychological research starting that “dysfunctional families” produce dysfunctional children. ” Professionals tend to see parents as hostile, indifferent, uninterested, uncooperative, and the source of their children’s problems (Leitch & Tangri, 1998). Recent studies indicate that this foundational belief in parents as the root if their child’s emotional disability or school difficulties remains steadfast.
Teachers view parents as the source of their children’s problems and believe that the parents are in need of help themselves (Bailey, Buyssee, Edmonson, & Smith, 1992; Friesen & Ehlers, 1994; Mickelson, 2000). Additionally, teachers tend to view minority culture parents through biased eyes that that lead to misunderstanding. Yet in their study of African American, Hispanic American, Native American, and European American parents, Geenen, Powers, and Lopez Vasquez (2001) found that the culturally and linguistically diverse parents were active in special education transition planning activities.
Emotional disability is particularly prevalent during and following an acute cardiac illness, especially heart attack. Approximately two-thirds of such individuals will have some disturbing emotional response, most commonly anxiety and or/depression. To some extent, the magnitude of the emotional response is a function of the client’s personality.
The person, who was chronically dissatisfied, chronically depressed, hypochrondriacal, or hard driving, time-conscious and goal-oriented is more apt to respond with a significant and possibly disabling degree of anxiety and/ or depression. Although these personality types are often present, it should not be assumes that personality types are often present, it should not be assumed that personality patterns are always the cause of persistent anxiety or depression following an acute cardiac illness.