Difference between physical illness and mental illness
needs to be about 12 sentences The article asks us what if people responded physical illnesses in the same way as they respond to mental illness. Post
on how the sick role differs for physical illness and mental illness. please reference the reading attached. some background on topic: “Having a disease
and experiencing illness potentially place us within the healthcare system, which includes a new set of interactional rules and can also shape our
relationships with others. Spencer Cahill summarizes this well when he discusses Arthur W. Frank’s experience of illness:
When we seek treatment for illness, we become enmeshed in impersonal and subordinating relationships with medical personnel. Physicians and nurses
colonize our bodies and reduce us to a disease. They are not interested in what the ill person’s experiences mean to her or him but translate those
experiences into generalized symptoms of a disease. Medical personnel do not treat the patient as an individual with a rich social life and history but
as a carrier of disease. And, according to [Arthur W.] Frank, the more serious the illness the more distant physicians and others seem to become. In
Frank’s words, physicians also dominate the drama of illness. The patient must patiently await the physicians’ verdicts. The patient is continually
reminded of how little they know about their own condition. The physician determines what is wrong with the patient and what the patient must do or what
must be done to her or him if she or he is to get well. Physicians thereby take control over patients’ bodies and, at least temporarily, over their
The particular disease that physicians diagnose also affects both how others respond to the ill person and how the ill person views herself or himself.
Frank contrasts his experience of a heart attack with that of cancer. Unlike the heart attack, cancer was stigmatizing both because of the visible signs
of its treatment and our collective fear of the disease. The stigma of cancer can lead many friends and family members to deny the illness and the ill
person, as did Frank’s friends and family. However, others, usually those who had experienced their own or a loved one’s critical illness, acknowledged
Frank’s illness and affirmed their relationship with him. In either case, illnesses such as cancer change how others treat an individual and often how
she or he responds to them, changing, undermining, and sometimes strengthening their relationships. It seldom leaves them untouched.
As Frank suggests, the experience of illness is not just bodily, but social. How individuals respond to illness depends on how others respond to the
illness and the ill person and have responded to him or her in the past. It does not come from inside the ill person but from the web of social
relationships in which she or he is and has been embedded. Frank urges the ill to share the experience of illness with others and the rest of us to
listen so as to learn to value life for itself. ”
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