Psychological Disorders

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Physicallyill vs. mentally ill

Whenone thinks about physically ill, what comes into mind is a conditionthat can be seen or affects the physical body. On the other hand,mentally ill refers to a condition that affects the functioning ofthe brain and thus individual’s behavior. Examples of physicalillnesses include pain, infections, broken bones, cardiovasculardiseases and chronic diseases among others. Examples of mentalillnesses include depression, stress, anxiety disorders, traumaticdisorders, eating disorders, addiction and schizophrenia amongothers. There are several differences as well as similaritiesbetween physical illnesses and mental illnesses. Both illnessesrequire the attention of trained and experienced health care workers.Physical illnesses can be treated by a specialized or a generalphysician while mental illnesses require the services of apsychiatrist. Both mental illnesses and physical illnesses havenegative effects on the individual’s life. They disrupt the socialand economic life of an individual. For example, a physically ormentally ill individual is less economically productive. However,there are some striking differences. The main difference betweenphysical illness and mental illness are the causes of the illnesses.The diagnosis and treatment methods adopted are also different.

Generally,mental illness in most societies attracts negative attitudes. This isbased on how the society views the symptoms associated with mentalillnesses. For example, some societies associated mental illness withevil spirits and demons. This results into discrimination andstigmatization of mentally ill individuals. Rather than gettingsocial support, like physically ill individuals, mentally illindividuals are excluded in the society or workplaces. Thisnegatively affects their accessibility to psychiatric care.Surprisingly, this stereotype and stigmatizing beliefs are persistentirrespective of the knowledge and experiences with mental illness.

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