Healthy, Wealthy, or Wise? Issues in American Health Care Policy

By Charles T. Stewart Jr. | Go to book overview
Save to active project

7
Mental Illness

Mental illness is a bottomless pit. It is the one area that medical imperialism has failed to colonize. At this time it would be difficult to claim that there is excessive demand; the opposite claim is more plausible. Demand falls far short of need; whether it falls far short of opportunity to benefit from treatment is another matter. Demand falls short in part because of limited insurance coverage for treatment of mental illness. But the main reason is a large gap between the psychotherapists' broad concepts of what is mental disorder that should be treated and the much more limited public concept of mental disorder. There is also a residual stigma attached to seeking help for mental or emotional disorders. It does not fit in the germ model of disease as an external cause.

A further reason for limited demand is that many needing psychotherapeutic help, even viewed from the individual or family members' perspective, refuse to recognize their need and seek help. For those who do seek professional help, the average number of sessions with a psychotherapist is only 2.5, meaning that the vast majority of those who seek help meet at most twice with professional therapists. 1 Fifty percent do not make it to the first agreed-upon meeting. It would be difficult to argue that this is enough to do what can be done for them. Stephen Kopta and associates examined outpatient treatment for sixty-two symptoms and found that the minimum number of weekly sessions needed is eleven and the average is fifty-eight. 2

The implicit collusion between excess supply by providers and excess demand by customers characteristic of medical care is absent in the case of mental illness. Hence the need for a separate chapter.


How Much Mental Illness?

Twenty five percent of Americans are estimated to experience depression severe enough to require professional help at some time in their lives. 3 The

-99-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Healthy, Wealthy, or Wise? Issues in American Health Care Policy
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 264

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?