Proposal +5 – nobinaryneeded

Mental Illness Stigma

For my research essay I will be examining America’s stigma on mental illness compared to physical illness. It is counterintuitive that in this country mental illness is treated as if it isn’t as serious, in some cases more serious, than a physical injury or illness. The first thought that comes to most people’s mind about mental illness is that it’s “all in your head, you’re fine,” but in reality the chemical balance in the brain isn’t what it should be, causing mental illness. In schools, kids with a broken leg are exempt from gym class, but kids with anxiety are not exempt from public speaking. Dealing depression is like walking with a broken leg, it’s hard and it’s painful. Each year, about 42.5 million adults in America suffer from some form of mental illness, and it is usually swept under the rug. Psych wards are being defunded, people aren’t being taken seriously, and without the proper help they need, many end up homeless, or worse, dead.

 

The percentage of Americans with mental illness continues to grow yet the care and attention to it is stagnant or even shrinking. Even by health professionals, a person with mental illness can be shut down because their symptoms are not “extreme” enough for them to be considered mentally ill. Mental illness comes in all shapes and sizes and needs to be recognized for what it is. An illness. People often say to people with depression, “Get over it. Stop thinking so much.” If someone with chronic seizures was having an episode, no one would tell them that. They would get the help they need. Things need to change in this country about mental illness and they need to be taken seriously, or they cannot be treated.

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5 Responses to Proposal +5 – nobinaryneeded

  1. davidbdale says:

    A little syntax note while I’m reading your Proposal, NoBinary.

    When you make two comparisons—one of the “as serious as” variety and the other of the “more serious than” sort—you need to make both statements complete.

    It is counterintuitive that in this country mental illness is treated as if it isn’t as serious, in some cases more serious, than a physical injury or illness.

    In this sentence above, you want to say that mental health skeptics think mental illness “isn’t as serious as a physical injury,” while in your opinion it is in some cases “more serious than” a physical injury. You can make both statements in one sentence, but not without the formulas “AS serious AS” and “MORE serious THAN.”

    Think of those commas surrounding “in some cases more serious” as parentheses. If they were, the rest of the sentence would have to make sense without it. But if we remove that parenthetical phrase, we’re left with:

    It is counterintuitive that in this country mental illness is treated as if it isn’t as serious, in some cases more serious, than a physical injury or illness.

    That obviously doesn’t scan right. So here’s the solution:

    It is counterintuitive that in this country mental illness is treated as if it isn’t AS serious AS—in some cases MORE serious THAN—a physical injury or illness.

    where you can use commas, parentheses, or dashes as I have, to separate the second comparison.

    Helpful?

  2. davidbdale says:

    You’ve identified a real problem with real consequences, NoBinary. I’m glad. It should make your semester worthwhile. Now. To the hard part. How to keep your paper from devolving into an impassioned rant. Let’s begin by trying to divine the reason(s) care for sufferers is withheld.

    Some candidates: 1) You mentioned stigma. Is that first? Do sufferers themselves, or perhaps their family and loved ones, resist a diagnosis some might find shameful? 2) Fear of discrimination? The potential lost jobs or opportunities? 3) The absence of physical symptoms? As you say, broken legs get students excused from gym class, but they also show up on X-rays.

    Or are you more interested in the consequences side for patients (or would-be patients) who aren’t bothered by the stigma but can’t get the relief, treatment, understanding, accommodation, they desire?

    Additionally, what narrow (it’s only 3000 words) focus will you bring to a broad topic? Undiagnosed or undertreated mental illness that results in suicide? Something. Don’t be scared to make it really small-seeming. You’ll find that the implications of any serious issue, however miniscule, if examined from social, legal, ethical, practical, and moral points of view, will open up more than enough opportunities for investigation.

    Helpful in any way? Respond, please. I too like feedback. For best results, keep the conversation going.

  3. nobinaryneeded says:

    Very helpful. I can use everything you’ve offered in the revision of my summaries and that I can use in my paper once we start to write the paper. Thank you for the feedback, again I found it very helpful and useful.

  4. davidbdale says:

    NBN, you haven’t given yourself an assignment here. Reply, please.

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