Mental Illness and Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs

Health is defined as a condition of an individual which is of a total and complete physical, mental and social well-being and nourishment. It may also be termed as that condition of being sound in body, mind and also spirit. Additionally, health is defined as that state of being free from physical disease, pain or certain abnormality and a wish of someone’s health and happiness. However, health does not always refer to absence of disease or infirmity (Luck, 2007, 1).

While in the course of offering my nursing health care services, I have come across many individuals who are physically fit with no pain or any kind of infirmity but after examining well, I found that their health was not well as they suffered from social and mental problems. Therefore, health can be defined as a state of complete physical, social and mental well-being and not merely an absence of disease and infirmity. An individual is said to be healthy when he or she is structurally and functionally whole and sound.

Mental health is well defined as the state of an individual’s emotional and psychological well-being. This means that the individual is in a good position to use his or her cognitive and emotional capabilities sufficiently. Additionally, it means that that particular individual is able to function well in the society and also meet the ordinary demands of everyday life (Dickson, 2007, 14). Mental health does not necessary mean the absence of mental illness but it also engages all aspects of our life. For instance, how we feel about ourselves and about others and also how we are able to meet the demands of life.

In nursing health care, we have carried out a lot of promotions encouraging people to adopt and maintain healthy lifestyles which are only possible if an individual comes to a realization of his or her self abilities and cope up with the normal stresses of daily life. The people are also taught on how to work productively and fruitfully so as to make a contribution to the community. Therefore, these nursing experiences and activities which are aimed at promoting quality of life help me in defining mental health as an individual’s emotional and psychological well-being.

Part 3 Mental illness is not considered as part of normal development or culture but it is defined as psychological pattern that is normally associated with distress or disability that occurs within an individual. Mental illness always involves the disruption of thoughts, experience and emotion which consequently result to functional impairment in people. As a result of this mental problem, the person is incapacitated in sustaining interpersonal relationships and also carrying out their jobs. It therefore leads to self-destructive behaviour and even suicide.

One of the sources where I have obtained ideas about mental health and mental illness is from the researchers. Currently, researchers have found that many of the mental illnesses are probably as a result of several chemical imbalances in the brain. They researchers argue that these type of imbalances may be inherited or develop as a result of excessive stress or any form of substance abuse. They also term mental illness as that kind of disease that causes mild to severe in thinking, perception and behaviour.

The services that are being offered by the specialized mental health professionals, for instance, psychologists, psychiatric nurses, psychiatrists and psychiatric social workers have broadened my knowledge and understanding about mental health and mental illnesses. Additionally, the seminars that I have managed to attend in health specialized halls, facilities and agencies in which nurse work have given me an opportunity to ask questions and more clarification about mental health and mental illnesses and also the symptoms of an individual suffering from mental illness.

In the nursing class, we have held many discussions about mental health and this has also expanded my knowledge of mental health and mental illness and I am able to clearly draw the difference between the two. I have learnt that mental illness can also be influenced by cultural beliefs and expectations. I have learnt that there are various types of mental illness, for instance, depression and schizophrenia. From the class work, I have gained an idea that, it is possible for someone with a mental health problem to also have several problems with alcohol and drug abuse.

Additionally, movies, television and books have given me several ideas about mental health and mental illnesses. It is not possible for a person to have mental illness and at the same time be healthy. Many people in the society although they do not suffer from diagnosable mental disorder, it is true that some of them are mentally healthier than others. Mental illness is a disability in the health of an individual and therefore a person cannot be suffering from mental illness and have complete health.

From the definition of health as a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, a person suffering from mental illness such as depression cannot be termed as having health. This is because the well-being of the person is very weak and he or she cannot have personal and community effective functioning. A person with mental illness has an impairment of his cognitive, emotional and behavioural functioning. Mental health recovery means living in control of the victim’s life despite experiencing a mental health problem.

Recovery mainly means focusing care on supporting recovery and also building the resilience of the people with mental illness. However, it does not only mean managing their symptoms. Nevertheless, there is hope for a meaningful life to be restored despite the seriousness of the mental illness. The recovery is always a process with certain guiding principles. By saying that recovery meant a meaningful life, it means that the process of recovery help people with mental health problems to go beyond just mere survival and existence.

As a result, the people will be much encouraged to move forward and carry out their daily activities and develop relationships that give their lives meaning. However people who have recovered from mental illness do not often believe that they have fully recovered. Most of people in the society view mental illness as a moral weakness and something which is very shameful. As a result of this negative attitude towards mental illnesses, the victims are deeply affected such that they are not in a position to effectively handle the problem because of fear and shame.

People are discriminated in various forms like being shunned by friends, prospective employers and romantic partners. Stigma affects the lives of individuals suffering from mental illness in various ways. For instance, they do not get sufficient treatment and medication from the health care system as they face a structural discrimination. Fewer amounts of resources like money, time, care and research are invested in them as compared to other types of patients. People with mental health problems will continue to have poorer health and if medical services are not provided they die at an early age.

In a family with a child who suffers from mental illness, the effects of stigma are always burdensome to him/her. The parents of the child never admit that the child needs help and support and therefore the child misses the opportunity of getting enough treatment. The child never goes to school or if he was in school, he drops from school. The child is totally despised by the family, friends and the community at large. Consequently many children end up underachieving in their future lives and others even become street children.

The society is also burdened. In the life aspect of career and employment, the people with mental health problems are highly discriminated. For instance, in the working places, it becomes very difficult for them to secure a job and if they get a job, they are normally paid very low wages and salaries. This is because they are regarded as not able to do job effectively. Their views and opinions about the organization’s goals are neglected while making the company’s decisions.

In choice of their career, they are undermined and their career satisfaction and development is never achievement. Due to the increased rate of unemployment, many end up in poverty and living miserable lives. People who suffer from mental problem face public stigma in the community and they eventually lose the sense of belonging in the community. The community views them as very weak and non-contributors towards the development of the community. Besides, their little achievements are underestimated.

They experience difficulties in maintaining their households and protecting their assets. This makes them not to fully exploit their talents and capabilities towards the growth of the community. References Dickson, J 2007, The Mental Health Practitioner and Psychopharmacology. Journal of Mental Health Counselling, Vol. 29, p. 12-19 Luck, S 2007, Wellness Coaching in Integrative Health Care: A Holistic Nursing Perspective, Viewed, August 10 from <http://www. integrativepractitioner. com/article. aspx? id=17056>

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