Mental Disorders and their Effect on Social Life

Do you ever wonder if a person with a mental disorder is as easily accepted into social life as someone who is not a sufferer? Many mental disorders can cause a difficult social life, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, postpartum depression, depression, and posttraumatic stress disorder also known as PTSD. A social assumption is that sufferers are faced with is violence. Those with mental disorders are commonly assumed to be violent, which isn’t always the case. Many people who suffer from a mental disorder are nonviolent, only hands full of sufferers are at risk for violent acts. Though violence is not common among patients, many other things are. Racism, discrimination, poverty, homelessness, and expectance are all issues that those with mental disorders are forced to face. These are all things that are commonly forced upon people who suffer from a mental disorder. Those who have a mental disorder may find it hard to hold a job, communicate with others, and have social support. This may cause their lives to be extremely stressful, as well as difficult. Stress caused by a mental disorder can cause increased alcohol, tobacco, and drug use, a poor diet, and high-risk sexual behavior. Also due to social stress mental disorder sufferers are faced with a high risk of suicide. Between 30 and 70 percent of people who commit suicide suffer from a mood disorder. It has become apparent that mental disorders do affect a person’s social life.

Schizophrenia is a major mental disorder that holds many causes of social distress. A book referred to as the DSM-III R help doctors diagnose mental disorders such as schizophrenia, the book gives a proper definition of this disease. From the DSM-III R (a medical manual used for diagnosing mental disorders), “If an individual is out of touch with reality and his or her thinking of behavior is different enough from ‘normal’ so as to make coping with everyday life very difficult or impossible, then the person is suffering from schizophrenia”. Schizophrenia is when a person’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are abnormal, affecting their life, and causing delusions, hallucinations, and irregular thoughts, and emotions. A person with schizophrenia will have strange, inappropriate, and scattered thoughts. These thoughts can be make-believe, full of delusions, far-fetched, and unrealistic. They may repeat things over and over, speak without order, go off the subject, and can be extremely hard to fallow. Symptoms of schizophrenia include delusions, hallucinations, unorganized feelings, and thoughts, unable to function in society lasting at least 6 months, strange physical activity such as pacing, and rocking, strange speech patterns documents, and strange behaviors. Those who have Schizophrenia have paranoia, feel threatened by others, fear, constant suspicions, and perform self-destructive acts. Those who have Schizophrenia have little séance reality angry outburst and lack of communication, isolation, delusion, and hallucination. A hallucination is when a delusion becomes real. A person who is having a hallucination believes what they are seeing and hearing is reality, they interact, and respond to the hallucinations. Delusion is a false belief that is very real to the person having the delusion becoming part of his or her world, while being make-believe to anyone else. A person with schizophrenia may react to situations inappropriately, due to the emotional disturbances it causes. This causes them to react to things abnormally. Things that are horrible may make them smile, or laugh, while things that are funny could cause them to show no emotion. Schizophrenia is a form of psychosis, which causes sufferers to become unconnected with reality, and be unable to function in society. Neurosis or psychoneurosis is a mental disorder were people feel anxious, worried, threatened, and stressed. Those who suffer from neurosis avoid problems instead of coping with them, are not clever or resourceful when it comes to personal turmoil, have trouble solving emotional problems, are down on them-selves, feel inadequate, and feel constantly guilty. People who suffer from the mental disorder Psychosis go through insanity, and are unable to interact with society. Catatonic schizophrenia symptoms are suspended animation, unable to move voluntarily, arms and legs freezing in any position, and going into a catatonic stupor. A person who suffers from this disorder can be hard to move, become easily excited, and flare around with no reason. These people need to be constantly watched so that they do not injure themselves or others. This causes stress on those who become caretaker of the sufferer. People who are diagnosed with this disease have a hard time coping with its difficulties, it can send sufferers into a downward spiral that may led to suicide. Ernest Hemingway, a famous writer, suffered from schizophrenia. He sent constant fear to those who knew him due to his paranoid delusion. Ernest thought that the government was out to get him, by sending federal agents after him, and wire-tapping his phones. He thought his acquaintances were telling lies about him and stealing money from him. He soon became unable to write. The writer A.E. Hotchner said this about Hemingway, “Basically, Ernest’s ability to work had deteriorated to a point where he spent hours with a manuscript… but he was unable to really work on it… His talk about destroying himself had become more frequent, and he would sometimes stand at the gun rack, holding on of the guns, staring out the window at the distant mountains.”(Marcovitz 46). Ernest isn’t the only one to commit suicide due to his schizophrenia. One to two percent of adults in the U.S. are believed to have schizophrenia, 10 percent of them commit suicide. The suicide rate is this high due to the social issues this disease causes. Many sufferers have to face consent discrimination due to their disease. The discrimination comes from the fear that non-sufferers have. They fear the unknown, the ranting, pacing, delusional thoughts, and insane acts. A schizophrenia sufferer has difficulties molding into social life due to the lack of reality that they face. Like Ernest Hemingway many sufferers may feel extremely down and look to suicide as a way to get out of the pain. In a study of 40,000 mentally ill patients bipolar and schizophrenia sufferers are more likely to attempt suicide more than once.



Five point seven million People in the U.S. are said to have bipolar disorder. Those who suffer from bipolar disorder, also known as manic depression, may go through periods of depression, euphoria, and hyperactivity. Mood swings can be quick and extreme, such as one moment being calm and happy to a scene of extreme fury. The impulsive behavior of those who have bipolar disorder plays a role in the 15% of patients who have committed suicide. Kurt Cobain, the leader of Nirvana, committed suicide after suffering from years of the mental disorder bipolar, as well as alcohol, and heroin abuse. Beverly Cobain (psychiatric nurse), “Kurt was, without doubt, bipolar- he had a psychological disorder which caused him to swing from wild ecstasy to manic despair. In trying to self-medicate with heroin, he almost certainly made the problem worse. That was the background to his shooting himself”. (Marcovitz 42). Kurt Cobain is an example of those who use alcohol, and illegal drugs to try and solve their disorder. Mood disorders, especially bipolar disorder have a high risk of substance abuse that can latter led to suicide. Other than suicide and substance abuse those who suffer from bipolar disorder are faced with a difficulty in interaction with other people. They may lash out on loved ones, become violent, and sink into a disappear that they may have difficulties coming out of. Like bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder also has a tendency to have mood swings.

A person with borderline abnormal for their culture. Symptoms of borderline personality disorder are a poor self-image, mood swings, impulsive and unpredictable behavior, as well as self-destructive actions. Two percent of U.S, citizens have borderline personality disorder, 75 percent of this two percent are female. Borderline is found mostly in women in their teens or early twenties. Due to the low self-esteem many people who suffer from borderline commit suicide. John Gunderson, of McLean Hospital in Belmont, Mass, “The most characteristic feature of the condition is multiple suicide attempts. These attempts usually occur in the context of a problem in a relationship. These patients come into the emergency room, for example, after a fight with somebody, which leads them to take an overdose or slash their wrist”. (Marcovitz 43). Ten to fifteen percent of people who have borderline are said to take their own life. Those who don’t fall into suicide continue to have social issues. Those who suffer from borderline have unstable relationships with people. People with borderline are constantly down on themselves, and in a world of self-pity. Due to this, their destructive actions, and mood swings many people who are associated with the sufferer find it uneasy to be around them, as well as frightening. This mood disorder can occur at any time, while the mood disorder postpartum only occurs after child birth.

After giving birth some women go through postpartum depression. This mood disorder is similar to major depressive disorder, except that it occurs only after giving birth. Postpartum is caused when hormone levels drastically change, a normal response after child birth. Ten percent of women have postpartum after giving birth, 50 percent of those women have had postpartum in previous years. Postpartum can cause women to slip into a depression that can harm their social life. It can cause them to become distant, and remote from loved ones, and have difficulties caring for their child. They may have trouble working in a social situation, as well as, communicating their feelings. This mood disorder is just one type of depression.

About 12 million people are said to suffer from the mood disorder, depression in the U.S. These people are exposed to numerous symptoms. A decrease in energy, being unable to concentrate, change in eating habits, and constant physical pain are some symptoms of depression. Those who go through depression are constantly sad, pessimistic, and anxious. Those suffering from depression feel a constant guilt and that their problems will never be overcome. Depression can be caused from changes in hormone levels, as well as loss of a loved one. Bereavement is a reaction to the death of a loved one, which can cause a period of pain and sadness. In some cases bereavement can lead to serious cases of depression. Depression, if untreated, can lead to suicidal thoughts and actions. A study says that eight percent of people, who are suffering from depression, will also commit suicide. Those who suffer from depression are not only at risk for suicide, but also face threats of never being able to come out of it or subdue it to the point of tolerance. With medical help depression can be handled, while PTSD needs therapy to resolve it.

The attack on the twin towers has caused numerous people psychological trauma. The conditions of the twin towers caused PTSD or Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. This disorder caused horrifying nightmares, flashbacks, insomnia, mood swings, hyper vigilance, scattered thoughts, irritability, easily scared or startled, lack of emotions, and detached from others. The rescuers of the twin towers were exposed to toxic air, dangerous working conditions, fear of their safety, stress of long hours, and devastation, as well as exposure to dead victims. Those who worked to help in the devastation have become remote to loved ones, and are constantly living a personal hell, one filled with fear. Like those of soldiers who have fought in war, people who suffer from PTSD become overwhelmed with the pain of reliving the trauma over and over. A person with PTSD is forced to live in a constant fear that they are unable to relive themselves of. Sufferers go through therapy to try and become at peace with their traumatic event, a process that sometimes takes years.

Many factors of life can be affected when suffering from a mental disorder, such as ones social life. Having a mental disorder can cause a person to become isolated, and lose all contact with the outside world. A mental disorder can cause reality to become blurred and force those who care for the sufferer to have increase of stress. Having a mental disorder plays a large role in social issues. Many people who suffer from mental disorders seclude themselves from the world or try to drown their issues in other substances instead of seeking the help they need for themselves.





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jtme99 said...
Nov. 2, 2012 at 9:08 pm
This is what happens, I know I have PTSD
 
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