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The Prison of Depression: Mental Health of the Incarcerated

It’s no secret that depression is prevalent in our society.  It’s one of the most common mental illnesses, with 6.7% of adults in the United States suffering every year from symptoms of hopelessness, persistent sadness, changes in appetite, and loss of interest and energy (NIMH, n.d.).  However, even with major depressive disorder being such a common illness, the United States lacks adequate resources to care for those suffering due to a decrease in mental health funding.  Other issues include, the closing of state owned psychiatric hospitals and failure of doctors following up with patients after medical care (Treatment Advocacy Center, 2014).


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Separation Anxiety. The term brings to mind children clinging to their mothers, or a pet that misbehaves after the owner has left the house. People rarely think of adults suffering from this anxiety disorder, and why should they? Up until just a few years ago, the disorder wasn’t even diagnosed unless the age of onset was before eighteen (Bögels, Knappe, and Clark). With the publication of new guidelines in 2013, the medical community may be more aware of adults with separation anxiety disorder, but the general public may still be in the dark

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Anxiety Disorders in Children and Adolescents

Around twenty percent of children and adolescents have some form of anxiety. As of result, anxiety disorders are a common psychological ailment in today’s youth (Donovan). These forms of anxiety are certainly debilitating and can have negative consequences on a child as he or she develops (Donovan). Therefore, it is critical that steps are taken to prevent the initiation as well as development of these disorders as children grow up. What’s certainly interesting is that there are certain risk factors associated with this development of anxiety-related disorders. Thus, knowledge and avoidance of these factors can play a role in preventing the development of anxiety disorders in growing children.

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Hollywood’s Use of Specific Phobias

Specific phobia, according to the National Institute of Mental Health, is an “intense, irrational fear of something that poses little or no actual danger,” that lasts for a minimum of six months (“Highlights of Changes”). When confronted with their phobia, people can have intense anxiety reactions including panic attacks, increased heart rate and an inability to control their actions (Rogge). For a lot of phobias, simply avoiding their fear works fine, but for someone afraid of common items, such as elevators or tunnels, avoiding these things can interfere and affect their life (“Specific Phobias”).

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Everyday Anxiety

Many of us, at one point or another, have said something along the lines of “I’m about to have a panic attack because of (insert hardship).” This popular saying is not only exclusive to social conversations, but is also prominent in the media—for example, in TV shows, movies, commercials, etc. By saying this, we don’t intend to add to the stigma of anxiety disorders. Rather, we are just saying that some form of impending adversity is causing us to feel nervous. However, these sayings may dilute what it truly means to have anxiety or an anxiety-related disorder. The popularized version of anxiety refers to feeling anxious—feeling worried or uneasy due to some upcoming hardship like an exam, a job interview, etc. However, there is a clear and marked distinction between anxiety and feeling anxious, which may not be obvious as the two words are very similar at a first glance.