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Mental Illness within the Ranks Essay

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Updated: May 24th, 2021

There is a wide range of disorders and unhealthy tendencies related to the mentality of people, and when they interfere with the normal functioning of the human brain, it can have a negative effect on all spheres of life of a person. Discussing this topic, it is extremely important to give special consideration to those people whose professional activity involves extensive communication or the necessity to be responsible for other professionals. According to the scenario which is provided for the assignment, there is a new commander who appears in one of the city jails to improve the performance of corrections officers. The commander fails to comply with the norms of behavior, and all people working in the jail notice it. In particular, his behavior can be characterized as extremely aggressive, he is unable to analyze and take into account the alternative points of view, and his unfair decisions are caused by presuppositions and the use of certain discriminatory practices that are inexcusable even if applied to people who have committed crimes.

Continuing on the symptoms manifested in the behavior of the new commander, it is necessary to highlight that he fails to control his emotions – according to the information reported by his subordinates, he is unable to speak in an appropriate manner when instructing his followers. Apart from that, it is obvious from the case that he has difficulties when it is necessary to explain his point of view and provide sound arguments. Emotional instability may occur due to alcohol abuse (Stevenson, Dvorak, Kuvaas, Williams, & Spaeth, 2015). Instead of using logical reasoning to protect his perspective, the new commander starts shouting at other people. To determine the likely mental condition of the new commander, it is necessary to summarize the primary symptoms. He is unable to listen to the opinion of others which proves that he focuses on his own emotions too much.

Also, it is important to note that his emotional reaction to different events seems to be inconsistent with the case, and it is a sign of an important problem. The subordinates of the new commander do not realize it, but their report seems to be a complete behavioral assessment that is a useful tool helping clinicians to define the right diagnosis (Whitbourne, 2017). Based on the combination of abnormal behavioral responses, it is possible to conclude that the commander suffers from psychosis, a condition characterized by complicated social interaction, groundless aggression, and the presence of the idée fixe (Tang et al., 2017). In the discussed case, the latter was related to his presupposition concerning the behavior of the entire group of prisoners. It is accepted that the occurrence of psychosis is usually connected to serious commotions that took place in the past, the inappropriate use of medicinal drugs, or nervous system traumas (Fusar-Poli et al., 2013). Anyway, regardless of the specific diagnosis, the behavior of the discussed person indicates that he needs to visit a specialist immediately.

Obviously, the orders from the commander could cause issues with the corrections officers and their relationships with the inmate population. First, being a corrections officer, a specialist has to refer to a range of values during the work, and justice can be regarded as one of the most important concepts to be protected. In case if the commander continues issuing instructions that encourage specialists to be very strict to representatives of the particular nation, the persons deprived of liberty will understand that the biased approach utilized by the corrections officers minimizes the difference between criminals and those people who need to accelerate their reformation. Therefore, the requirements set by the new commander pose a significant threat to the success of the entire organization. Violating the principles of justice and equality of people of different origins, the commander goes flat against the very core of the correction efforts.

As for the ability of the commander to regain the position in the jail, it does not seem to be a good idea due to a few reasons. To begin with, as is clear from the range of inappropriate aspects of behavior reported by his subordinates, it is clear that the commander may need to receive a complex treatment which would include psychotherapy sessions and the use of antianxiety drugs (Minor et al., 2015). Therefore, it may need a lot of time to make the commander align his behavior with the accepted social norms. More than that, it is obvious from the previous experience that his orders pose a threat to the social image of the entire organization; considering that he does not understand his errors, the treatment is unlikely to make him a good leader capable of improving the results of the unit. (Finney, Stergiopoulos, Hensel, Bonato, & Dewa, 2013). At the same time, in order to make more precise statements on the acceptability of his further work as a commander, it is extremely important to review the entire medical history of the commander and make sure that the cause of the mental disorder is properly defined. To sum up, due to the previous experience of his followers, the commander can be regarded as a person having significant communication issues, and they bring his further career in the area into question.

References

Finney, C., Stergiopoulos, E., Hensel, J., Bonato, S., & Dewa, C. S. (2013). Organizational stressors associated with job stress and burnout in correctional officers: A systematic review. BMC Public Health, 13(1), 82.

Fusar-Poli, P., Borgwardt, S., Bechdolf, A., Addington, J., Riecher-Rössler, A., Schultze-Lutter, F.,… Valmaggia, L. (2013). The psychosis high-risk state: A comprehensive state-of-the-art review. JAMA Psychiatry, 70(1), 107-120.

Minor, K. S., Friedman-Yakoobian, M., Leung, Y. J., Meyer, E. C., Zimmet, S. V., Caplan, B.,… Seidman, L. J. (2015). The impact of premorbid adjustment, neurocognition, and depression on social and role functioning in patients in an early psychosis treatment program. Australian & New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 49(5), 444-452.

Stevenson, B. L., Dvorak, R. D., Kuvaas, N. J., Williams, T. J., & Spaeth, D. T. (2015). Cognitive control moderates the association between emotional instability and alcohol dependence symptoms. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 29(2), 323.

Tang, S., Moore, T., Calkins, M., Yi, J., McDonald-McGinn, D., Zackai, E.,… Gur, R. (2017). 916-emergence, remittance, and persistence of psychosis symptoms in 22q11. 2 deletion syndrome. Biological Psychiatry, 81(10), S370-S371.

Whitbourne, S.K. (2017). Abnormal psychology: Clinical perspectives on psychological disorders (8th Ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

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