Prior to engaging in this discussion, read Chapters 7 and 8 in your text as well as the articles by Clark, et al. (2013) “California’s historic effort to reduce the stigma of mental illness: The Mental Health Services Act” .and Cummins (2013) “Addressing public stigma and disparities among persons with mental illness: The role of federal policy.” It is highly recommended that you also watch a few of the videos on mental illness from the TED playlist, “All kinds of minds” as these provide valuable insights into a variety of disorders and the issues associated with them.
For this discussion, refer to the information in the SOC313 Family Document. Lucy Miller is a 20 year old who has recently been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. She is working on the family farm. She would rather work elsewhere because she does not get along well with her family. However, she has been fired from four jobs in the past two years and this is her only option for work currently. Lucy began experimenting casually with illegal drugs in high school after a particularly challenging year, and found that they helped her mood swings. Unfortunately, she kept getting them from friends and has now become addicted to drugs.
Examine the potential biological basis for Lucy’s psychological disorder. For example, what, if anything, in her family history might point to this issue as being hereditary? Consider the biases that are often held regarding mental illness. Is individual choice involved in mental illness? Discuss your thoughts on how much is related to environment and genetics. Discuss how society relates to mental illness when we know the person well versus when the person is a stranger (e.g., a homeless individual or a panhandler on the street). How has society’s behaviors contributed to the adverse long-term outcomes for people with mental illness?
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