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Beyond Labels- Understanding Mental Illness and the Impact of Diagnosis

Beyond Labels- Understanding Mental Illness and the Impact of Diagnosis

Getting a mental illness diagnosis can positively and negatively impact a person. Regarding the positive impact, individuals who initially struggled with everyday life, not knowing why, get to understand their struggles better after a mental illness diagnosis. In addition, they get to treat or manage their condition, enabling them to live a normal life. An example of this is a common mental disorder known as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). This mental illness is common, but many people who suffer from it are unaware, and living with an undiagnosed disorder negatively impacts them (Corcoran & Walsh, 2009). The second positive impact is that getting a diagnosis of a mental illness can be a source of relief and hope as the patient begins to understand their condition. In addition, they also find other people who share the same condition for support.

Subsequently, one of the negative impacts of mental illness diagnosis is the stigma and prejudice associated with mental illnesses (TED, 2017). Persons diagnosed with mental illnesses face ridicule, rejection, discrimination, and denial of opportunities and services. One experience I have had with a person diagnosed with a mental disorder was with one of my cousins. Since he was young, my cousin struggled with losing focus easily, restlessness, getting easily frustrated and angry, trouble multitasking, impulsiveness, and frequent mood swings. We all thought he would eventually grow out of it as he grew older and adopted better traits. One summer, he visited me, and we decided to spend a few days at my best friend’s farm. While there, my cousin happened to spend time with my best friend’s father, a psychiatrist, who subsequently asked to speak with his parents about visiting him for a session. Later, my best friend’s dad diagnosed my cousin with ADHD. After the diagnosis, my cousin’s life changed for the better because he was able to get help, which helped him manage his condition. Notably, everyone received his diagnosis well, but there is no telling if this would have been the case if the illness was more serious, such as bipolar disorder.


Corcoran, J., & Walsh, J. (2009). Mental health in social work: A casebook on diagnosis and strengths based assessment. Pearson.

TED. (2017, May 26). There’s no shame in taking care of your mental health | Sangu Delle [Video]. YouTube.


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After viewing the video’s for this module, share your perspectives on mental illness. How does a diagnosis impact the client’s life? You may share stories of people in your family or community that you have seen undergo this change, but do not mention names or other identifying information.

Beyond Labels- Understanding Mental Illness and the Impact of Diagnosis

Beyond Labels- Understanding Mental Illness and the Impact of Diagnosis

Find at least one academic reference supporting your observations, and ensure you use the appropriate APA citation style.

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