ASD prevails to be a very serious mental illness that results in the under-domestication of traits. It completely changes the life of the diagnosed and their families. Many educators lack the knowledge needed to properly accommodate for their studies with ASD. Furthermore, people in society also lack this information which leads to feelings of isolation for people with ASD and their families. But there are also people with over-domesticated traits. This is known as schizophrenia and this devastating mental illness has a major impact on themselves and their family. Mental illness is a very profound issue that affects many people worldwide.
Throughout time, humans have become very domesticated. Just like domesticated dogs, humans are preferred to be tame, loving, and cooperative. But society is not perfect and there are people who show over-domesticated traits and under-domesticated traits. Genetics is believed to play a big role in the self-domestication of humans. This is why the traits that are present in the domesticated population are minimal or absent in people with ASD. The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis is responsible for the fight-or-flight responses. This is also affected in people with ASD and leads to increased anxiety. ASD also comes with growth abnormalities for males which includes increased brain and body size from birth and then later on in life. Along with this, males with ASD commonly start puberty early due to an increase in male sex hormones. Women with ASD also experiences abnormalities like delayed start of puberty and irregular menstrual cycles due to higher levels of testosterone. At the other end of the scale is over-domesticated traits present in people with schizophrenia. People with schizophrenia usually have a smaller than average brain which is caused by a reduction in grey matter (Badcock, 2017).
The domestication of humans had begun at the dawn of man. Ancestral mothers domesticated their children to be more cooperative and docile in order to have a more ideal family. Due to the female role in nature, they have ample opportunity for domestication. Furthermore, in nature domesticated female animals display traits like smaller brains and jaws, being more tame, and little to no sexual dimorphic structures (Badcock, 2017). The mother role is the key factor in the domestication of humans and animals.
Impact on Society
In 2012 there were approximately 67 million people affected by ASD and that number is rapidly increasing. Some studies display a range from a 50% increase to a 2000% increase in cases of ASD from 2000 to 2012. Sadly, many educators lack the information to properly help the students with ASD. Along with this, schools often segregate students with ASD which is not beneficial to these students at all. A 2010 study found that students with ASD that were taught in an inclusive classroom, rather than a segregated one, scored significantly higher. Additionally, students placed in the inclusive classrooms displayed increased social skills and had more opportunities to develop social and academic skills (Chevallier, 2012). Every aspect of life of students with ASD would be positively impacted if educators received the proper knowledge and skills to accommodate for them in inclusive classrooms. A better education for these students would lead to an increase in college graduates with the proper social skills they need to go out and fill important jobs in society. With an increase in jobs comes an increase in the economy. More educated, hard working, and skilled employees brings productivity and growth to the economy.
Society as a whole has a lack of knowledge about ASD which brings many negative effects for the people with ASD and their families. Many families do not understand how ASD works and lack understanding. This lack of knowledge and understanding leads to feelings of isolation and exile for people with ASD and their families (Chevallier, 2012). If more families received awareness about ASD it would lead to a more cooperative and accepting society. People with ASD would have a more safe and supportive environment everywhere they go. The societal impact of public ASD awareness would be very beneficial to not only people with ASD, but everybody.
Relevance to Personal Experience
Schizophrenia is a very serious mental illness that immensely impacts the affected individuals and their family. People with schizophrenia lose contact with reality which is responsible for their loss of social function. Very frequently, the affected individual’s main caregiver is their family. Having the correct information schizophrenia helps the families of the affected individuals to better understand them and provide the best care they can. But schizophrenia is a very devastating mental illness and can bring much burden to the family. Studies have shown that family caregivers of persons with severe mental illness display profoundly high levels of stress and burden. In the individual’s illness they can inflict emotional distress, physical harm, and economic problems on the family. Things like these cause change of family function and feelings of loneliness for the family caregiver (Miller, 1997). Along with this, the family has to deal with economic problems due to the treatment and medication for the affected individual. Schizophrenia has an enormous impact on the family of the affected individual just as much as the family has an impact on the individual.
Mental illness is a very problematic issue yet not many people have the right information about it. ASD is a mental illness that can cause changes like increased anxiety and growth to the affected individual. Many educators lack the proper knowledge to properly care for and help these students with ASD. So many people in society lack the proper information about mental illness. With more a more educated society, every person with ASD would feel more safe and accepted. Furthermore, people with schizophrenia and their families also experience many problems. Without the correct information the family of the affected individual will not be able to provide the proper care. Likewise, the affected individual can bring major burden to the family. When equipped with the correct information, society has all it needs to make a more cooperative and supportive environment for people with mental illness.