The Prevalence of Mental Illness in Contemporary Society

I cannot understand why mental illness is not taken more seriously in contemporary society. As time progresses, rates of mental illness heighten yet the medical system fails to acknowledge this and refrains from developing more systems and resources for these individuals. There are a multitude of mental illness diagnoses, with some persons experiencing more than one condition simultaneously, yet I would argue because mental illness is not something that is always physically detectable or apparent, this type of illness is deemed as inferior to physical illnesses and trauma.

When a person breaks a bone, they are told to wear a cast for six weeks, and their issue is typically resolved. However, when a person with mental illness breaks inside, they are told to take medication that simply numbs their thoughts as opposed to correcting the root of their ailment.

I recently read a book for my Creative Writing course titled Bitter Medicine. It is a book written by two brothers, Clem Martini being the individual responsible for producing the text of the non-fictional book, and Oliver Martini being the individual responsible for producing the illustrations for the book. Clem wrote this book because of his own experience with mental illness within his family – his younger brother, Ben, was diagnosed with Schizophrenia and ultimately committed suicide after being released from a psychiatric hospital without receiving adequate attention and aid. His brother Oliver, who is the illustrator for Bitter Medicine, was diagnosed with Schizophrenia several years after Ben’s passing, and a majority of the text portrays Clem’s struggle to deal with his brothers ailment.

This book is phenomenal example of why more needs to be done both medically and socially for individuals suffering with mental illness. It is not something that simply fades with time, nor is it something that does not deserve formal medical attention.

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