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Society's Impact on Mental Disease Essay

  • Submitted by: liveclaire
  • on September 19, 2012
  • Category: Psychology
  • Length: 778 words

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Below is an essay on "Society's Impact on Mental Disease" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Different societies around the world all have multiple standards that are set by the citizens that live there, for the people to follow. Whether these standards that are set are healthy or not, society seems to fall in to the trap of constantly following what others believe in due to their geographical location. Richard McNally, a psychology professor at Harvard University, wrote a book called What is Mental Illness, giving readers a depiction of a multitude of mental illnesses present in today’s society. In this book, there is a question posed as to whether or not one thinks that society can cause mental disorders among people. McNally states, “some scholars argue, however, that diseases are socially constructed, not merely socially caused” (129). He is right in the fact that mental disorders are socially constructed and uses an array of examples from bulimia to post traumatic stress disorder to prove his claim. The two criteria that McNally uses to determine whether or not certain mental illnesses are socially constructed is if it has not been observed across different cultures and that it is not mentioned in historical records. When it comes to the mental illnesses of bulimia and anorexia, society has constructed them due to the Western ideology of body shape.
One specific mental illness that McNally uses to show that it is socially constructed is bulimia nervosa. According to Merriam-Webster, bulimia is defined as “a serious eating disorder that occurs chiefly in females, is characterized by compulsive overeating usually followed by self-induced vomiting or laxative or diuretic abuse, and is often accompanied by guilt and depression.” This disease fits the criteria of being socially constructed in the fact that it has not been observed across many cultures. McNally says, “…bulimia and the thin body ideal emerge only when food becomes plentiful” (136). Many countries do not have the abundance of food that the western world has available, so the people that...

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"Society's Impact on Mental Disease". Anti Essays. 18 Dec. 2018


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Society's Impact on Mental Disease. Anti Essays. Retrieved December 18, 2018, from the World Wide Web: http://parimatch-stavka7.com/free-essays/Society-s-Impact-On-Mental-Disease-310782.html

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