Argument presentation English period 3
Global issue: Mental Health and physical Health
Research question: Are mental illnesses the same as physical illnesses?
Thesis: Mental illnesses should be treated the same as physical illnesses.
What if you were sick in bed for three days? You’re popping Advil like candy to keep your fever down. You feel like you are going to die. Well-meaning friends offer to swing by the store if you need anything. Your mother brings over chicken soup and tells you to rest up and take it easy. Everyone says "get well soon!” But what if they didn’t? What if, instead, they told you, “Have you tried … you know … just not having the flu? C’mon, shake it off!”
Or imagine you just cut yourself. Or had an asthma attack. Or were diagnosed with diabetes. And the response to your malady was “You just need to change your mindset, then you’ll feel better.”
Mental illness in our society is still treated with a negative stigma and misconceptions. We, as humans in general, care for those with a physical illness in ways that we wouldn’t even think to do so when faced with a person with a mental illness. We help the person receive treatment, we help care for them, are a friend to talk to, and above all, we treat their illness with the respect, seriousness, and legitimacy that it deserves. Why then do we not give the same level of care to those with mental illness?
I think it is important that in the future, we treat mental illness the same as physical illness. Hence my position: Mental illness should be treated the same as physical illness.
So why is it important that we treat mental illness the same as physical illness? I have a few arguments to substantiate this.
To begin with the fact that mental illness has a biological basis just like other medical illnesses. Mental illnesses are brain-based conditions that affect thinking, emotions, and behaviors. The brain is an organ, and part of your body just like your legs or your heart. Just like any other organs in our body, it can experience changes (healing or injury) based on life experiences like stress, trauma, lack of sleep, and nutrition. Generally, when someone has a mental illness, something has changed in such a way that their brain and the way that it works has also changed.
Since mental illnesses takes place in our brain, which is an organ, just like your heart, liver, or kidney, and it also experiences injury and healing like all other organs, we must therefore also treat it the same as we do with other organs and physical illnesses.
Secondly, mental illnesses can affect the rest of your body. Because of changes in physical activity sleep or other factors still being researched, people with mental illness are more likely to be at risk for other physical illnesses, like diabetes or pain. Ultimately it is important to remember that it’s not one or the other, physical or mental, but that your whole body is interconnected. Therefore, taking a whole-body approach to getting healthier is so important. People who pay attention to their sleep, what they eat, or increasing exercise along with tackling negative moods and thoughts can reach greater improvements in their quality of life and their symptoms.
Moreover, it is really important to reduce stigma and dig into issues surrounding mental illness because “the stereotypical picture of depression and anxiety limits people from identifying those at risk, and makes it difficult for those suffering to identify it themselves.” If someone already recognizes themselves in a mental illness, many people do not dare to ask for help since mental illness is not as normalized as physical illness. This is even more important because many mental illnesses like anxiety are very treatable and can make a person’s life significantly better in many ways.
However, some people believe that mental illness should not be treated the same as physical illness. According to them it is not the same. They say, for example, that you cannot die from mental illness. And that it is not life-threatening. This is absolutely untrue. In Europe, more than fifty thousand people die from suicide every year. In the United States this year nearly 32,000 people; that means every day 87 Americans commit suicide. The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Global Burden of Disease study estimate that almost 800,000 people die from suicide every year. That’s one person every 40 seconds. Making it the 10th leading cause of death. Not yet talked about all the people who try but fail. Only 1.5% of all suicide attempts actually succeed. Since suicide is often caused by mental illness, more people die of mental illness than, for example, malaria, a physical illness. Speaking about these numbers, isn't it strange that we don't treat mental illness the same?
With all these arguments in mind, I think it is important that we treat mental illness the same as physical illness. The brain is an organ, just like all the other organs and can undergo injury and healing. Suicide, often due to mental illness, is the number 10th cause of death, surrounded by physical illnesses. Furthermore, your mental health affects your physical health. People with mental illness are more likely to be at risk for other physical illnesses, therefore, taking a whole-body approach to getting healthier is very important. On top of that is it important to reduce stigma and dig into issues surrounding mental illness so that it becomes as normalized as physical illness and we can help many more people.
(Staan niet in APA, ik hoefde deze niet toe te voegen bij het inleveren maar voor degene die ze nodig hebben hierop:))