Physical and mental illness were thought to be combined until the late 1800’s. Starting in the Middle Ages, the mentally and physically ill were treated inhumanely and were believed to be supernatural (Timeline: Treatments for Mental Illness). During the 1600’s, Europeans began to isolate the mentally and physically ill and frequently chained them to walls and put them into asylums.. When put in the asylums, they were with criminals and the less fortunate. They were also physically abused and had no clothing or food.
In the 1700’s, the mentally and physically ill were put into workhouses or into general hospitals and were usually abandoned in both these places. Although, French physician Phillippe Pinel tried to provide patients with sunny rooms and better living conditions, but the inhumane treatment still remained. (Timeline: Treatments for Mental Illness). Throughout the 1800’s, many people observed and studied the mentally ill after psychiatrist Emil Kraeplin provided more information discussing mental disorders. His research about the differences between manic-depressive psychosis and schizophrenia are still proven true (Timeline: Treatments for Mental Illness). The United States believed that hospitals for mentally and physically ill and humane treatment will heal the disabled was not proven true until Nellie Bly, New York World reporter, acts as if she is a mentally ill person and reports how terrible the asylums are. After her reports were published, the United States started funding to improve conditions.
The mentally and physically ill were linked throughout history and they always will be. Mental and physical disabilities are connected because it is a part of one’s health. The World Health Organization States define: health as a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity (Connection Between Mental and Physical Health). When a person has poor mental health they have a high possibility of having lifelong physical conditions. For example, people who are diagnosed with depression are more likely to have worse physical health (Jane Collingwood). Also, when a person is experiencing chronic physical conditions, they are at a much higher risk of a declining mental health. When a person has the combination of a physical and mental illness, their diagnosis is twice as serious as a person with only one of the two illnesses. The combination of these two illnesses can cause double the reduction in social interaction. Any person who has a chronic physical illness is more likely to feel more mental distress than a healthy person. In October 2014, a research in Australia showed that more than 40 percent of Australians living with a mental health issue also have a physical illness. (Physical Illness). David Goldberg, professor at the Institute of Psychiatry, reported that rates of depression in patients with a chronic disease are almost three times higher than normal (Jane Collingwood). Goldberg also states that: “Depression and chronic physical illness are in reciprocal relationship with one another: not only do many chronic illness cause higher rates of depression, but depression has shown to antedate some chronic physical illnesses” (Jane Collingwood).
Patients who have a physical and mental illness are not always treated for both of their problems. When a person has a physical illness alongside with a mental illness, health professionals are more concerned with the physical illness or the professional may not be aware of the occurring mental illness (Mark Dombeck). The physical illness does not always occur first. A mental illness can develop before the physical illness. For example, depression is known to cause coronary heart disease, stroke, colorectal cancer, back pain, irritable bowel syndrome, and multiple sclerosis.
Even though mental and physical illnesses have their similarities, they are considered very different. Mental and physical illnesses are different because of where the base of the illness is. Mental illness is psychological and begins within one’s brain, such as one’s ability to get their brain to process certain functions and be able to do everyday actions. Physical Illness is related to your body and not your mind. As a whole, mental and physical illness are completely different, but when you start inspecting the smaller pieces of each illness, the more that they are similar.
Physical Illnesses include: Cancer, Diabetes, Asthma, Chromosome Conditions,etc. Cancer is a disease that is caused by an uncontrolled division of abnormal cells in the body. Diabetes is a metabolic disease where the body cannot produce enough insulin and it causes elevated glucose in the blood. Asthma is a lung disorder that makes it hard to breathe because of how the lungs swell and narrow the airways. There are thousands of physical illnesses and they all are related to the body. People that have a physical disability are more likely to have poorer health, lower education rewards, less economic participation and higher rates of poverty than people who live without a physical disability (10 facts of disability). Physical Illness is not rare in the United States, there are about 74.6 million people that have a physical illness, while 27 million of those people are women. (11 Facts About Physical Disability.) Physical Illnesses can be short or long term, depending on the type of illness you have and how severe it is. The illness can improve but it relies on the type of medication taken and physical therapy. (Physical Disability). People who have physical disabilities also have learning disabilities. About 200 babies are born every week with a learning disability (Papworth Trust Disability Facts and Figures 2010). Researchers predict that between 2001 and 2020 that the number of adults with learning disabilities will increase by 11 percent. In England, that prediction means that over one million people over the age of 15 will have a learning disability by 2021. (Estimating Future Need/Demand for Support for Adults with Learning Disabilities in England, Institute for Health Research, Lancaster University 2004).
Thousands of people are suffering with a physical illness each day, but there are ways to overcome a physical illness. Every illness has a different treatment that comes along with it. All of the medications or therapies that a person has to take depends upon many things, such as: age, height, weight, allergies, gender, etc. One type of physical illness is cancer. Cancer has several different types of treatments for instance, surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, targeted therapy, immunotherapy, hyperthermia, and many more. Surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy are the most common treatments for cancer. In surgery, they remove the tumor but not everyone’s tumor can be removed. If the tumor cannot be removed, a person will most likely take chemotherapy or radiation therapy to shrink the tumor before surgery (What are the different types of cancer treatment).
Diabetes is another form of physical illness are there are various types of diabetes. Treatment for diabetes depends on the type of diabetes the person has. The two main types of diabetes are type one diabetes and type two diabetes. Type one diabetes is an immune disorder where the body attacks and destroys the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas (Diabetes Basics: Types of Diabetes…The Causes & Symptoms). Type two diabetes is where the body does not produce enough insulin, or the cells ignore the insulin. Type two causes a buildup of glucose in the blood, which causes damage to the body’s organ system, type one diabetes causes the body to be unable to produce insulin and forces the glucose to stay in the blood, where it damages all of the organ systems. Treatment for diabetes requires the person to monitor their blood glucose level and take insulin, as prescribed (Diabetes Basics: Types of Diabetes…The Causes & Symptoms). Cancer and Diabetes are two strong examples for physical illnesses and how much each of them differ in medication and the types of treatment required.
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