Using the theme of Science with the lens of truth, this essay will explore mental health and the truth behind the treatments, the validity of the things that we know about the conditions and the medicines. This essay focuses on the wider context of mental health, the causes and the treatments behind them and how they have developed through time; how man used to deal with it and how they do now. Looking back it raises the question do current methods of treatments help any more than older, more experimental, methods. Should we try to do more for people with mental health issues? Using people’s perception of mental health and their knowledge of the topic this essay will challenge how we currently treat mental health and if we are doing enough for people. Using a timeline to show the way that treatments have moved on and evolved through the decades, this essay will show how mental health has always been a taboo subject and how it’s moved on from people being hidden away and experimented on to people talking through their problems. ECT
This essay focuses on the wider context of mental health, the history of the treatments and its progression through time. Mental health is seen as a taboo subject in today’s society and is still seen as something to be ashamed of. Current treatments on the NHS mainly consist of therapies1, talking about your problems. However this doesn’t solve the issue. In 2012 there was a rise from the previous year in how many people committed suicide due to mental health issues2 , and they were already in the system. This questions whether therapy does actually work with increasing suicide rates. Although there are no solid figures, compared to the Victorian era, it appears that suicide rates are currently higher than 100 years ago3. This also seems to strongly reflect the Victorian view of suicide in relation to insanity3: Tuke (1892) quotes a colleague who considered that in only about 20% of cases showed symptoms of a mental disease4, whereas now the rates of suicide due to mental illness seem to be higher.
Mental health is a large issue mainly affecting men, as they contribute to 77% of the suicide rate2. A recent add campaign run by CALM addressed this issue by starting #mandictionary, saying that mental health is not something to be ashamed of and they are there to talk about it. By showing the campaign in city centres where there is a high footfall, it encouraged people to spread the word of the campaign via twitter with a high response5. It encourages men to talk about their problems before it is too late. On the other extreme, in some cases, electro convulsion therapy (ECT, formerly known as electroshock therapy) is still being used. Results have been varied and many scientists have disproved its effectiveness6, and with about 4,000 people a year receiving shock therapy6 is this a more proactive route in beginning to help people suffering from mental illness, or with many patients relapsing within the 12 months prior to the treatment7, is it pointless?
4. Tuke, D. H. (ed.) (1892) A Dictionary of Psychological Medicine. London: J & A Churchill.