Flawed beliefs about mental illness can cause significant problems. There are different things you can do about the stigma. You can learn about what you can do about the stigma about mental illnesses.
Stigma is when people view you in a very negative way because you have this thing called mental illness. It is very common nowadays for people with mental illnesses to be looked at with negative attitudes and beliefs. It’s crazy!
The stigma about mental illnesses, can lead to discrimination. Discrimination can be very direct and obvious, such as someone, or people making negative comments about your mental illness and treatment. Or maybe it can be unexpected or subtle, such as someone keeping away from you because the person may assume you’re unstable, dangerous, or crazy due to your mental illness. Sometimes, you may even judge yourself.
Some of the harmful results of stigma can include:
Unwilling to seek help or to seek treatment
Insufficiency of understanding by friends, family, workers, or others
Trouble finding housing, fewer opportunities for work, or school
Harassment, or physical violence
Insurance that doesn’t fully cover your mental health treatment
The belief that you will never succeed at certain challenges or that you can’t make better your situation
There are ways that you can cope, and deal with the stigma.
Here are some ways you can deal with the stigma:
- Get treatment. You May be unwilling to actually admit that you need treatment. Do not let that fear of being labeled with a mental illness stop you from seeking help. Getting treatment can actually give you relief by recognizing what’s wrong and decreasing symptoms that intervene with your personal life or even your work.
- Don’t let the stigma about mental illnesses create shame, or self doubt. Stigma does not just come from others. You may actually think by mistake that your condition is a sign of weakness, and that you’re able, or should be able to control it, without help. Getting counseling, and actually educating yourself on your mental illness, and connecting with different people who have mental illness, can really help you overcome destructive self-judgement.
- Do not isolate yourself from others. If you have a mental illness, you may be unwilling to tell others about it. Family or friends can offer you support if they know about your mental illness. Make sure it’s people you trust, but reach out to people for the compassion, understanding, and support that you need.
- Don’t equate yourself with your mental illness. You are not your illness Don’t say “I’m bipolar,” say “I have bipolar disorder.” There’s a difference.
- Speak out and about the stigma. It can really help introduce courage in others that’s facing the same challenges, while also educating the public about mental illnesses.
Don’t give up! Keep fighting! Keep pushing! And get the help that you need! You can do it! Face mental illnesses!
I’m owning my life and my story and I refuse to allow people to control how I feel about myself or how I view myself. — Face Depression
If you’re dealing with a mental illness get the help that you need. Don’t be ashamed about it because no one is perfect. We all need help at some point in our lives. And if you hear someone talking negative stigma about mental illnesses, just tell them they wouldn’t make fun of someone with cancer.