False beliefs about mental health can cause significant problems for those who need treatment the most. The last thing that someone with a mental illness needs is to be stigmatized because of it.
Negative attitudes and beliefs toward people who have a mental health condition are common. Some of the harmful effects of a stigma like this can include reluctance for people to seek help due to a lack of understanding by family, friends, co-workers, or others they may know.
There might be fewer opportunities for work, school or social activities, or trouble finding housing as well. Let’s also not forget that, unfortunately, ignorance about mental health can lead to bullying, physical violence, or harassment.
To complicate matters, health insurance might not adequately cover mental illness treatment. Also, there’s the belief that these individuals will never be able to succeed at certain challenges or that they can’t improve their situation because they are just too weak, inadequate, or even crazy.
But, according to Mayo Clinic, steps exist to cope with the stigma of mental health. Here are some ways to deal with it:
- Get treatment
- Don’t let stigma create self-doubt and shame
- Don’t isolate yourself
- Don’t equate yourself with your illness
- Join a support group
- Get help at school
- Speak out against stigma
“Others’ judgments almost always stem from a lack of understanding rather than information based on the facts,” said Mayo Clinic. “Learning to accept your condition and recognize what you need to do to treat it, seeking support, and helping educate others can make a big difference.”
Have you been stigmatized or seen someone stigmatized by someone who didn’t understand the seriousness of a psychological disorder? Personal experiences with mental health issues are welcomed. As is information you have about disorders, treatments, medications, therapies, etc. Please share what you know in the Leave a Comment section, below.
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