Read the following case studies about two very different people coping with their mental illness. In the first case, legal scholar Elyn Saks talks about her struggles with, and surprising triumphs over, her diagnosis of schizophrenia. In the second case study, Andy discusses his journey with high functioning autism, a developmental condition that experiences a similar stigma to many mental health disorders.
Case Study 1
Saks, E. (2009). Diary of a High-Functioning Person with Schizophrenia. Scientific American. Accessed at http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/diary-of-a-high-function/ on August 23, 2016.
Case Study 2
Kirtland, A. Growing up undiagnosed Early signs of autism. The National Autistic Society. Accessed at http://www.autism.org.uk/about/adult-life/stories/growing-up-undiagnosed.aspxon August 23, 2016.
addressing the following:
- What symptoms of mental illness did each person display? What made each of these cases different? Contrast these conditions in the context of mental illness versus developmental disabilities.
- Why does society tend to stigmatize mental illness? Is the stigma different for those with mental illness versus developmental disabilities?
- What impact did being stigmatized have on their lives? Consider such things as reluctance to seek treatment, living a lie, social isolation and difficulty gaining an accurate diagnosis.
- What personal qualities have helped each of them meet the challenge of their conditions? Discuss the role resilience has played in their recovery.
- What strategies have helped them cope with their conditions?
- What kinds of factors might contribute to changing public perceptions around mental illness?
Organize this assignment using subtitles that summarize each question above. For example, to answer Question 1, use a descriptive subtitle like the following: Mental Illness versus Developmental Disabilities. Answer each question under the subtitle using complete sentences that relate back to the question. Use American Psychological Association formatting to cite any sources used within the text of your essay. Also, be sure to include a reference section at the end of your assignment that lists the sources that you were required to read and any additional resources you used to research your answers. Direct quotes should be limited and must be designated by quotation marks. Paraphrased ideas must give credit to the original author, for example (Murray, 2014)