Unit 7 Discussion #1: Mental Illness

Over the last decade or so, there has been a rapid increase in the number of young people diagnosed with Attention Deficit with Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). While it is likely a legitimate diagnosis for many, for others the diagnosis is being used to gain an academic advantage, while some diagnosed with ADHD abuse their psychoactive medications and/or sell the prescription/pills to others.

This has created a dilemma for treatment professionals and parents as they try to discern what is a true mental illness. Some believe mental illness is a myth or a cultural phenomenon, while others believe that mental illness is a real problem.

Is mental illness is a myth or a real problem? Please provide examples to support your response.

300 words


The notion that mental illness is a myth is misguided and unsupported by evidence. Mental illnesses are real problems that affect individuals’ lives, and they can have significant consequences for their mental and physical health, social functioning, and overall quality of life.

For instance, depression is a prevalent mental illness that can cause sadness, lethargy, and feelings of worthlessness, which can negatively impact one’s ability to work, study, and maintain relationships. Anxiety disorders can cause intense feelings of fear or worry, leading to physical symptoms such as sweating, trembling, and heart palpitations that interfere with daily life.

Furthermore, people with severe mental illnesses, such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, may experience delusions, hallucinations, or mood swings that can impair their ability to function in society.

It is true that there may be cases where individuals are misdiagnosed or use their diagnosis to gain an academic or professional advantage. However, this does not diminish the reality of mental illness for those who genuinely suffer from it.

It is crucial to understand that mental illnesses are not a personal choice or a weakness. They are complex conditions that involve both genetic and environmental factors and require professional treatment and support.

The idea that mental illness is a myth can also lead to harmful stigmatization, prejudice, and discrimination against individuals with mental health problems, preventing them from seeking help and receiving adequate care.

In conclusion, mental illness is a real problem that affects millions of people worldwide. While there may be some cases of misdiagnosis or misuse of medication, this should not undermine the reality of mental illness or the need for appropriate treatment and support for those who suffer from it.

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