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Graham Thornicroft

in Shunned

Published on behalf of ©Graham Thornicroft

Published in print July 2003 | ISBN: 9780198570981
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191754463 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/med/9780198570981.003.0001

Series: International Perspectives in Philosophy & Psychiatry

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This chapter begins with a case study, before discussing the reaction of family members to mental illness. When features of mental illness first begin, relatives will often start by taking a common-sense view and recommend, for example, ways to avoid stress, or to adopt a more healthy lifestyle. When common sense is not effective, a second ordinary reaction is to see signs of unusual talk or actions as thoughtless or ‘bad’ behaviour, and to adopt a blaming or nagging attitude. Reactions to family members are then discussed. During the last 20 years it has been increasingly recognised that not only are people with mental illness themselves the butt of limited understanding, prejudiced attitudes and discriminatory behaviour, but so are their family members. Mental illnesses can also have profound effects on housing, and this is covered next. For people who are most disabled by mental illnesses, the pattern for much of the last century in many countries has been to provide completely segregated housing in long-stay psychiatric hospitals. Finally the chapter looks at neighbours, and discussed how people with mental illness commonly report adverse reactions, especially verbal abuse, from neighbours.

Chapter.  10111 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Psychiatry

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