Combating Mental Illness Discrimination

Essay by killjoyCollege, UndergraduateA-, February 2004

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As a concerned citizen of our great country, I must call to attention an issue of great importance in America today. Innocent people are being robbed of their opportunity to live prosperous and fulfilling lives, due for the most part to misconceptions about their sicknesses. Mental illness discrimination is a serious problem in America that could be mollified through a mental illness awareness program. The public must be educated about the truth in order for these people to be given the chances they are entitled to.

My mother and I have both been affected by mental disability, and we now hope to aid America in the fight against mental illness discrimination. When I was in the sixth grade, my mother was hospitalized for a disease that I then knew nothing about. She was a very successful woman with a very colorful background - she had held jobs in publishing, radio, costume designing at an opera house, and reporting for a small-town newspaper.

None of my mother's accomplishments mattered, though, after she had a mental breakdown. She was forced to sell the house I grew up in and deliver pizzas to try and keep herself alive. In the meantime, she went into great debt because no one else would hire her, despite her extensive credentials. I myself have also been admitted to mental hospitals for short periods of time. However, my hospitalization did not stop me from succeeding in my own life. I graduated from high school in the top ten percent of my class after only three years of study, and I am now attending Texas State University in San Marcos. Also, my mother is now remarried with a stable job. We have both overcome the challenges of mental disability with triumph. However, there are many blockades that may stand...