What is mental health? A state of emotional and psychological well-being in which an individual is able to meet the ordinary demands in life. Developed by prior exposure to environmental, social, psychological and physical factors. Mental illness is caused by chemical imbalances between neurotransmitters in the brain which may be controlled by therapy, medication etc.
How do we know? Neurotransmitters (chemicals) are sent through the synapse to transmit messages. Includes: dopamine (mood, movement), serotonin (sleep, aggression). Malfunctions can occur due to little/excess neurotransmitter or malabsorption of neurotransmitter Research indicates that physical changes in the brain commonly occurs in mental illness.
Against: Stigma towards Mental Illness“Process by which reactions of others spoils normal identity” Worsens mental health – negative thoughts. Barrier to treatment-seeking. Stereotyping and removing individuality. Reduce: Protest, education and contact.
Promotion: Mental Illness Happy Hour Weekly conversations via pod casts on the radio. Battles in our minds: Medically diagnosed conditions everyday compulsive and negative thinking.
For: Insanity Defense Criminal Trials: Insanity Defense Evaluated to determine if they can be held criminally responsible for their actions. Held not-responsible for actions due to mental health problems. Raised 1% out of felony cases, only succeeds ¼ of the time. Testimonies of psychiatrists and psychologists.
Perspectives on this defense Through the patient’s eyes. Public idea of a “get-out-of-jail-free card”
Trial of Billy Milligan Evaluated by psychologists, having been found to have Multiple Personality Disorder/Dissociative Personality Disorder. 24 personalities were present in one body – sometimes not aware of one another’s existence. Sentences included accounts of rape and armed robbery. Trial was stretched over a period of 3 months to validate insanity plea.
Why?For:- Holds people responsible for their actions.- Defense for the defenseless.Against:- Disables recovery.- Social discrimination.- Mental instability.
Ways of Knowing Sense Perception: acknowledged differently by different people – negative or positive response to situation. Language: acknowledged in judicial system and court of law. Emotion: Both ethically unreasonable and reasonable. Logic: justifiable according to case.