Where Does Personality End and Mental Illness Begin?

By: Tim Wolfe
Published on September 26, 2011, 2012
Last Updated on Sunday, July 19, 2015 at 11:44 AM
Total Updates: 5

With the increasing prevalence and impact of obesity in our society the urgent need to develop therapeutic intervention is dire. Much like the statistics of alcohol abuse obesity has substantial consequences on America's Healthcare system and economical components as well as one's personal health and economics. However, society has yet to label obesity as it has schizophrenia, Bi-Polar Disorder, and multiple other mental disorders, let alone, substance abuse. Perhaps, with the new obesity epidemic raging throughout America, society has yet to find the time to create a popular label worthy of as much prejudice and discrimination as it has with the timeless disease of alcohol/drug addiction.

Persons negatively labeled due to their mental illnesses as dangerous, fundamentally different, and or not as relevant as those who are professing and instilling the labels find themselves separated from society (Bjorkman, Angleman and Jonsson). Bjorkman and colleagues write, "Moreover, stereotypes, prejudices, and exaggerated pessimistic attitudes about improvement if treated and recovery in people with mental illnesses may cause increase self-stigmatization and self-discrimination with additional resistance in taking part of the healthcare system when needed." Therefore, leaving persons with a mental illness having a high threshold for help, even when help is available and needed (Bjorkman, Angleman and Jonsson)

Upon review of media and social norm one can easily distinguish the difference in perceptions and attitudes contrasting alcohol-drug addiction and obesity. Considering the dangerous and compromising environment encompassing alcohol-drug addiction, the comparison with obesity could be perceived as unfound. However, with the same pharmacological impact on one's brain, common influences on one's health, and America's economical cost, these addiction disorders correlate more than is publically disclosed. With possibly the greatest difference being the stigmatized label implemented upon alcohol/drug addiction by society and laws, leaving alcohol-drug addiction behind the closed doors and dim lit underground of society.

Perhaps, with a powerful and efficient government movement upon food consumption set forth to counter obesity, in which limiting one's free will to consume an unrestricted amount of calories and the types and amounts of foods kept in one's home, the black market would fill with high fructose sugar products and carbohydrates offering as much risk and harm acquiring these substances as it does any other black market product such as drugs. Therefore, it is not necessarily the substance one abuses, but how that individual's image is shaped by society that either aids, or deteriorates the inflicted one's chances of remission or a holistic life in general.

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