Mental Illness In Latino Culture

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Crazy, violent, disturbed, or inconvenient, these are just a few adjectives people use to describe a person with mental illness. For this reason many people choose or feel like they have to do whatever they can to be seen as normal and internalize their disorder. It can be quite uncommon to talk about your mental health especially if you are a Latino and belong to the Latino community. A lot of the times they think that it’s only temporary and that their symptoms will go away in a few days, but in actuality it can stay with them their whole life, progressively getting worse. But what they do know, like most with mental illness, is that they don’t want to be labeled and have a new stigma to worry about. Even though mental illness has been widely…show more content…
In many Latino cultures, mental illness can cause someone to be labeled crazy. This label can bring their family’s social status down, it can cause the person loss of education and job opportunities, and it can potentially cause them to be alone for the rest of their life (Kramer et al. 2012: p. 9-10). Secondly, many Latinos have immigrated to America and as a result of that they have faced many differences, barriers, and economical and social hardships. Many Latinos with mental illness do not want to acknowledge it or deal with it because they do not want to have another stigma towards them and feel even more marginalized (Kramer et al. 2012 p. 9-10). Finally, the thought of having to take medication to control their symptoms makes them feel like they are too weak to control their symptoms on their own. They believe they should put in the work to keep their symptoms under control and not take psychiatric medications which they see as possibly addictive (Kramer et al. 2012. p. 9-10). Similarly to how stigma affects how people deal with their mental illness, a person’s culture can have the same…show more content…
This construct doesn’t seem too bad until it is aggressively placed onto men, teaching men that they are supposed to be strong and callous, and showing no fear. When this happens, it greatly affects men’s mental health and their ability to receive treatment. Most of the time mental health is seen as a weakness, so men try to hide it in order to keep their masculinity. In the article “Machismo, Gender Conflicts, and Mental Health in Mexican American Men,” it explains how high levels of machismo results in men having high levels of depression and stress. Depression and stress become much higher due to them keeping in their symptoms and internalizing their disorder rather than seek professional help. Today, I have informed you on how many Latinos actually have a mental illness, how their stigma effects their mental illness, and how their culture’s strict gender roles prevents them from getting help. Hopefully this has brought light to mental illness and issues associated with it, within the Latino community. If you want to learn more about this topic, you can look at the National Institute of Mental Health website which will provide you with even more statistics, facts, and

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