Sartorius Attitudes Towards Mental Illness

4679 Words19 Pages
CHAPTER ONE 1.1 Background 1.1.1 Mental illness – a key public health issue The World Health Organization upon acknowledging the significance of global mental health defined health as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity” (WHO, 1946, p.1). This apt definition led the dictum that “there is no health without mental health” (WHO, 2004, p.10), with endorsements from reputable organisations such as the World Federation of Mental Health, EU Council of Ministers, etc., to gain a global momentum (Prince et al, 2007). There is a rapid dominance and widespread increase of non-communicable diseases, and this represents one of the main challenges to global health and development;…show more content…
It goes on to frame how the mentally ill experiences and expresses his/her psychological distress, and help seeking behaviour. Attitudes towards mental illness have been found to be a crucial barrier in the recovery process of the mentally ill. It increases the mental pressure experienced by the individual, and contributes to the burden of disability by triggering a vicious circle of disadvantages (Sartorius, 1999). According to Bohner and Dickel (2011), attitude is an assessment of one’s thought process as concerns physical or abstract things, people and ideas; and is constructed based on the situation present (Gawronski and Bodenhausen, 2007). Attitudes towards mental illness are shaped by one’s understanding and perception about mental illness, and as such determines how one respond to people living with mental illness (Madianos et al, 2005). Attitudes towards mental illness cuts across cultural boundaries, and depending on it is expressed leads to social inclusion or exclusion of the mentally ill. (Crisp et al, 2000; Wilson et al,…show more content…
At such times, these people were regarded as demon possessed, sorcerers, paragon, etc. (Foerschner, 2010). In concurrence, Rosen (1968) opine that such people were accorded accolades as priests and deities, but were also referred to as being insane and as such were subject to ridicule. These people often referred to as witches and wizards, turn to the priests for exorcisms, and are subjected to series of ceremonies such as demon expulsion, herbal baths, ritual purgation, physical and other treatments. Mental illness is widely believed to be as a result of supernatural phenomenon by the early man, thus should be treated using mystical means. The Hebrews are of the opinion that humans are inflicted with mental illness as a punishment for committing sin by God, and as such he holds the supreme powers to heal and cure it (The Holy Bible, Daniel 4: 18 – 37).Tagging along the spiritual line, the ancient Persians attributed the cause of mental illness to evil spirits, and believed that good health is achieved by adequate cleanliness and purity of the soul and body (Alexander and Selesnick,

More about Sartorius Attitudes Towards Mental Illness

Open Document