Mental illness seems to be a growing problem in societies all around the world. Until the mid-twentieth century a large proportion of people who were classified as mentally ill and admitted to mental hospitals who were actually suffering from physical ailments like epilepsy and brain tumors. Today researchers are learning about the biological origins of many mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, autism and alcoholism. The mental disorders that cause severe social problems are the most extreme forms of mental illness, like the ones that threaten the social order such as a sociopath who becomes a serial killer. The number of individual in society with these disorders is small, but they constitute a serious social problem because they are so violent and irrational.
A more widespread social problem is severely mental ill individuals who cannot care for themselves without special attention. These individuals include people who are mentally ill and chemically addicted, and are likely to be indigent and homeless.
Mental ill individuals experience a variety of symptoms such as unimaginable fear, uncontrollable hallucinations, panic, crushing sadness, wild elation, and mood swings. For society as a whole, their illness presents a range of social problems: stress in family life, heavy demands on health-care institutions, moral and ethical problems, and the cost of treatment to society, etc. It is said that the mentally ill suffer twice: They suffer from the illness itself, and also from rejection or the stigma that comes with being diagnosed from illness, as if their illness was their own fault.
The most common forms of mental problem in the United States are panic attacks and phobias. Phobias include severe fears such as fear of going outside, fear of heights, or enclosed spaces. It is estimated that about 20 million Americans suffer from panic attacks or phobias...