Comparison of Mental Health Representation in Two Newspaper Articles

Summarise and discuss the presentation of Mental Health in two Newspaper Articles This essay has been composed using two newspaper articles, which illustrate the presentation of Mental Health Disorders, and the issues, raised in attitudes, towards those people who find themselves facing the difficulties involved in managing mental health problems, I shall also discuss the causation of silence' and Stigma' which surrounds Mental Health Problems. This essay will also address some of the reasons for the increased diagnosis of depression and anxiety and how counselling and psychotherapy is effective, and importantly this essay will consider the bio psychosocial perspective to consider mental health issues looking at medical treatment and role of The talking cure.

The main themes and patterns, which emerge from within the two articles are stigma, which surrounds and causes silence for different reasons. This research also shows significant levels of discrimination against people suffering with mental health. A descriptive study to evaluate attitudes and experiences of, and towards mental health issues is used in the two articles.

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Students whom self identify having mental health illness are asked to completeStigma Scale. Staff are involved in completing Attitude toward mental illness survey . This research reveals there is silence' which impacts on students seeking treatment for their mental health issues. The Students who were invited to participate, complete a stigma scale survey which consists of a three factor structure, based on : Discrimination Disclosure Potential positive aspects of mental illness. The stigma scale uses quantitative data (King et al 2007), and is based on a 10 minute questionnaire which was scored on a 5 point rating scale, with 1 = strongly agree, and 5 =strongly disagree.

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The ethics involved within this report outlined the anticipation of previous negative experience being recalled by the students which may cause further distress, professional support was offered by the university for counselling if needed. This is an interesting aspect, as whilst it is necessary to have ethical guidelines in place it can also be noted that most people have manifestations of fears and sadness, at some point in their lives, but even so Attitudes and stigma determine help seeking intentions (wynaden et al 2005) an so it is reported there are tendencies to conceal how we are coping or feel, and we are particularly careful to hide any abnormal behaviour, or related mental illnesses, the most cited reasons why people do not seek help is fear of discrimination and stigma, (Clemente al 2013) this suggests people fear being seen as weak or unable to cope or perform well. The Attitude towards mental health survey used with the staff in this research has a high validity content and is used in the UK annually, it consists of 20 questions and has four categories (King et al 2007) Fear and exclusion of people with mental illness. Understanding and tolerance of mental illness Integrating people with mental illness into the community Causes of mental illness Each category including statements and participants were asked to agree or disagree 1=strongly agree and 5= strongly disagree Stigma it is important to consider does not specifically focus on Mental Health Issues, (Goffman 1963) suggests Stigma is an attitude which is deeply discrediting that it , reduces someone from a whole usual person to a tainted discounted one. The stigmatised are therefore perceived as having a spoiled identity, (Dudley 2012) on working with Goffmans conceptualisation of Stigma, defined Stigma stereotypes as negative views attributed to individuals or groups, when characteristics or behaviours are viewed as different or inferior to the accepted societal norm. Therefore the research does suggest that certain forms of stigma surrounds mental health suffering. Stigma can actually be typified as a definition related to a persons own ability to recover or get better, and if those who have mental problems lack the volition to support their own personal effort, (Rocker 1996), they are blamed for their condition and considered personally responsible, yet the research of the article shows a strong percentage of staff (96%) who strongly disagree that a lack of self discipline and will power were main causes of Mental Health, and the same high number of 96% disagreed there was something about people with Mental Health problems which makes them easy to identify from normal people. Concealing information about mental health shows research which supports that society attributes more stigmatised stereotypes towards the disorders such as schizophrenia, and psychosis compared to Major Depressive Disorders (MDD) because of the more visible symptoms. Yet it is interesting to consider that the results show a very high number of students who say they would not admit to educational system or employers as suffering from mental health problems, and yet do not consider depression as a mental health illness, and a minority of the participants in the articles do not attribute violence with mental health, but there is a positive correlation of 72% who agree people with mental health issues are responsible in determining their own outcomes and treatments, however they would not confide in their employee as having mental health issues. Thus creating negative strength to the silence' stigmas surrounding mental health, with non-disclosure the aspect of the problem not being recognised and treated, is a direct cause of a larger problem, students involved in this study show a positive correlation between stigma discrimination and disclosure (Thornicroft, Willie Thornicroft and Mehta 2014), suggest failure to confide for fear based reasons is a direct cause of further mental issues, symptoms include experiences of isolation, loneliness and struggling to meet requirements, which results in withdrawal and ultimately leads to further problems. (Wynaden et al 2013). Disruptiveness is a dimension which assesses how much Mental Health impacts on sufferers in the work place and society. Disorders are also associated with an increased risk of poverty, lower socioeconomic status and lower levels of education (Mirotznik 1998 ) therefore stigma is evidenced by differences based on social class status. Meikle and Campbell 2015 shows 400 counsellors and psychotherapists clearly relate depression and other Mental Health problems to a wider world where people experience the negative impact of austerity, poverty and unemployment. Gray however suggests in 2015 that inflammation of the brain and biological factors are involved in Mental Health Disorders, in a referral to dr Meyer Gray suggested Depression is a complex illness and we know it takes someone more than one biological change to tip someone into an episode. This in turn leads to the problem that, Psychiatrists therapists and clients are divided on the benefits and drawbacks of using medications to treat people with profound anxiety and depressions, as becoming dependant on drugs is not entirely an unproblematic approach in itself. However the true value of the bio psychosocial approach to mental health issues is shown in how we evaluate pain alleviation, pain is caused from change to a part of our biology, when pain is alleviated the biology is relieved. However there can be damage with no real experience of pain and conversely there can be intense pain with very little or no evidence of damage, (Malzack and Walk 1969). Levels of pain and the response from others can lead to Anxiety and depression. (Abernathy and Campbell 2006). An assumption of the bio psychosocial is that only three factors biological, psychological and social have a part to play in any distress, but that there is interdependence of the three, therefore biological abnormalities can contribute to mental stress though it is merely one single entity among three, drawing attention to the fact that changes in all three can arise from biological psychological or social changes, though in fact whichever of the three the change occurs, will have a reaction on the other two. It has been noted that drugs target the biology of the brain relevant to psychopharmacology employed. The psychological affects are psycho active from both medically prescribed and illegal drugs affecting the brain and conscious mind, altering activities due to different drugs causing difference in effect. (Toates 2012). Therefore the use of drugs and the affects of the drugs changes the brain, and the social context, the psychological intervention, altering the brain and social context also alters the biology without drugs. whatever the difference however, biological intervention is not the only important or relevant form of treatment, The talking cure is as effective as drugs in short term and more beneficial in the long term. Therapists and counsellors can use the pains fears and experiences described by those with mental distress in terms of events within their conscious minds and try to help through understanding. diagnostic labelling alongside being stigmatic challenge the terms Anxiety and depression, as it is regarded as an accepted fashion associated with a medical condition among middle classes (Barker et al 2010). Stephen Fry mentions misery is reframed as common mental health problems in his excerpt, whilst Trisha Goddard discusses stigma attached to mental health issues. The DSM focuses on an agreed symptom checklist to label Anxiety and Depression and is used today by psychotherapists and counsellors, subsequently raising diagnosis of Mental Health sufferers referred to by their GPs. To Conclude I have presented the interconnected ways in which stigma surrounds mental health problems. I have drawn on some aspects of the two articles and also included references to the bio psychosocial approach in the importance of viewing the biological psychological and social context when assessming how to treat mental health issues, I have concluded mentioning the effectiveness of the talking cure with reference to celebrities, and practices trying to outline schematically. Ref: Wynaden et al 2013, Barker et al (2010) Toates (2012) Mirotznik1998, Thornicroft 2014 Keene Abernathy &Campbell (2005) Pilgrim (2016),. Meikle &Campbell (2015).

Updated: May 03, 2023
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Comparison of Mental Health Representation in Two Newspaper Articles. (2019, Aug 20). Retrieved from

Comparison of Mental Health Representation in Two Newspaper Articles essay
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