While psychological disorders still have a stigma, steps have been taken by some individuals to help others understand the disorders a little better. For example, photographer John William Keedy captured images to express anxiety disorders, OCD, and varied neuroses in “Photos Reveal What It’s Like to Have Anxiety Issues.” Review “What It’s Like to Have Schizophrenia,” which attempts to show viewers what it’s like to have schizophrenia. (Warning: the video is graphic and may be disturbing.)
Then there is a personal story from Healthline called “In Their Shoes: Understanding What Bipolar Disorder Feels Like” and another from Mills Baker called “What Does It Feel Like to Have Bipolar Disorder?” Both stories are told from the point of view of someone with bipolar disorder and try to capture what it’s like living with the illness.
After reviewing the readings and videos and further researching the topic, post a two-paragraph response to the following:
- How do our history and culture affect our understanding of psychological disorders? What, if anything, can be done to reduce the stigma attached to psychological disorders? Do the photographs, videos, and stories mentioned above help people to better understand the disorders, or do they serve to further stigmatize the disorders? Explain.
- Studies have shown that having a low socioeconomic status (SES) increases the risk factor for developing a mental illness. Why might this be the case? Think about some of the symptoms of psychological disorders. What connections do you see between the symptoms and low SES?