How Prevalent is Mental Health Treatment?
Thomas Jefferson said, “our greatest happiness does not depend on the condition of life in which chance has placed us, but is always the result of good conscience, good health, occupation, and freedom in all just pursuits.”
Mental Illnesses are Medical Illnesses
Many people, to this day, equate the term “mental illness” with insanity. To be sure, there are certain kinds of mental health issues that move the people straddled with them into insanity. According to the New Oxford American Dictionary, insanity is the state of being seriously mentally ill; madness. Insanity according to that dictionary is extreme foolishness or irrationality. The definition of mental illness according the National Alliance on Mental Illness is this: Medical conditions that disrupt a person’s thinking, feeling, mood, and/or ability to relate to others and their daily functioning are mental illnesses. Please note that the NAMI definition is not about extreme mental health issues. The most important thing for us to understand is that most mental illnesses are medical conditions that can be treated.
Acceptance of the Need for Mental Health Treatment
Slowly but surely, we, as a society, are moving away from the erroneous belief that someone who has a mental illness is “crazy.” We must remember, that psychiatry and psychology as treatment modalities, have only been around for the past 100 years. To this day, Freud is, more often than not, to be joked about rather than taken seriously. But it was Freud who gave to the world the understanding of the unconscious, that part of us that contains the programming we received during our first six to ten years of life. That programming determines how we will emotionally react to circumstances big and small as we move through life. We developed beliefs as children, sometimes harmful beliefs, that determine how we’ll be treated and how we’ll treat others in our adult lives.
Technology and Mental Health Care
Technology is enabling people to do destructive things that often force them into treatment for mental illnesses. Gambling and pornography addictions destroy individuals and families and cost our society in numerous ways. But technology is also being used to help those suffering with mental illnesses in ways that would astound the likes of Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung. Not only has technology allowed us to understand how materials in our environment can affect our mental health, but it’s also helping us to study and understand differences in brain chemistries. We can see and measure differences in human brains.
The Future of Mental Health Care
There is much to be hopeful about when it comes to the treatment of mental health issues in Florida. The educational and licensing requirements for those in the mental health field here are among the most comprehensive and stringent in the country. A new behavioral health facility is opening in Lee County: Park Royal Hospital, is expected to open in February of 2012. The $30 million project will be on the Health Park Campus in south Fort Myers. Hazelden, the country’s premier addiction treatment program opened a state-of-the-art treatment facility adjacent to Naples Community Hospital.
Stories from Anonymous listeners
Facing Mental Health Issues
I was told that you would be addressing mental health issues in mid-November, and I wanted to share my family's story. My husband's grandfather, father, and sister were all very mentally ill. His father and grandfather showed classic symptoms of bipolar disorder with episodes of depression and mania, as well as psychotic features such as paranoia. His sister's symptoms were more mixed, with more pronounced psychosis. She hasn't worked for years, and rarely leaves her house. My husband is emotionally stable, so we had three children, not realizing that we could still pass on the disease.
Challeges of Living in SW Florida
I am disabled due to mental illness. I have Bipolar Type II disorder, PTSD, and a severe panic disorder. There are several things about living in Southwest Florida that make it hard to live with these disabilities.