Schizophrenia and Physical Health

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Pages: 10

Category: Science and Technology

Date Submitted: 10/28/2013 05:33 AM

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Mental health disorders and illness refers to spectrum of cognitive, emotional and behavioral disorders that interfere with the day to day functioning of those who are affected (Department of Health and Ageing, 2005). The article by Ragg (2013) highlights various serious issues that are currently affecting mental health patients in Australia. This essay will aim to identify and explore some of these key issues such as the poor physical health and prevalence of early mortality in people experiencing mental illness. Other key issues that will be discussed include the disparity of mental health and primary health care and how difficult it is for mental health clients to navigate through the system and seek help. This essay will discuss the effects of stigma and how it is a major barrier to recovery for those experiencing mental illness.

In his article, Ragg (2013) draws attention to the high incidence of poor health and premature mortality rates of individuals suffering from metal illness. The 2007 National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing found that 3.2 million, or 20% of Australians aged 16-85, had been diagnosed with a mental illness (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2008). Individuals experiencing mental illness are 25% more likely to die prematurely compared to the rest of the population, which can be attributed to the fact that individuals suffering from mental illness experience a significantly higher rate of physical disease compared to the general population (Druss et al., 2010). Many of the diseases experienced by mental health consumers are largely lifestyle related and usually preventable. These diseases include cardiovascular disease, diabetes, asthma and chronic pain (SANE, 2012). Further research shows that 60% of premature deaths of individuals suffering from schizophrenia are attributed to these diseases (Parks, Svendsen, Singer & Foti, 2006).

There are various reasons why people experiencing mental illness are more at risk of...