Mental Health Stigma ? What Can We Do About It?
What is Stigma?
Stigma is the use of stereotypes and labels when describing someone, and it is often attached to people who suffer from mental health issues. We don't fully understand how the brain works yet, but one thing we DO know is that it is an organ. Yet our society doesn't readily accept brain disorders the way we accept other organ disorders. Why is this so?
Stigma is a harsh reality for people who have mental health problems, because it prevents them from enjoying a normal and productive life. So many people today feel uncomfortable about mental health issues, despite the fact that there is growing evidence that more and more people are developing these problems. In fact, many people are so uncomfortable with the stigma that they would rather suffer in silence than get help they need.
Here are a few of the most common misconceptions about mental health problems:
The media has only further fuelled our distorted beliefs about mental health issues. Frequently, characters on television and in the movies that have a mental illness are depicted as dangerous, unpredictable and violent.
What Are the Effects of Stigma?
If you became ill you would go to a doctor. Once you got better, you would expect to get on with life as usual. But it's not that easy for people who suffer from mental illness. Often, they can suffer from persistent rejections and exclusions by ill-informed members of the community. Some people have been denied loans, health insurance and jobs because of their history of mental health issues. Consequently, these people lose their self confidence and may develop further anxiety or depression, on top of the issues they are already facing.
I witnessed this first hand many years ago, when my brother was diagnosed with schizophrenia. The majority of his friends deserted him; they weren't able to comprehend or cope with his altered personality and erratic behaviour. Within months he went from being a popular, vivacious and outgoing young man to a shattered, isolated loner. Over the following months, I watched my brother sink deeper into debilitating depression, which ultimately became so unbearable that he took his own life.
What Can We Do?
All of us have times when we feel depressed, anxious or angry. We might even have a series of bad days, where we think that nothing will ever go right for us and the world is against us. For a mentally ill person, these feelings do not go away.
So the answer lies in education and understanding. If you know someone who seems very emotional, down or upset, then lead by example; show compassion and understanding, and encourage them to seek help. And if you're suffering silently yourself, take comfort in the fact that you're not alone and that there is hope.
***You are licensed to publish this article free of charge, on condition that the author's name is included, and the link to her website remains visible and clickable to human readers, and as long as the links can be read and followed by the search engine spiders. ***
Sonia Devine is a qualified professional hypnotherapist and success coach with a caring and committed approach to healing, who lives in Melbourne, Australia. You can find more of her information on mental health, self image, love, relationships, phobias and much more on her website Manifest Your Success
Wellbutrin For Depression: When Its More Than Just The Blues
We all have blue days:
5 Super Effective Tips To Kill Depression
Being lonely is a normal part of our everyday lives. We get sad when we fail in our exams, when we're rejected by the person we love, or when someone very close to uspasses away. Depression, however, could be more fatalthan just plain loneliness. It could render life-longconsequences that could ruin your self-esteem, health, and well-being.
Seven Steps to Good Mental Health
Psychological well-being is something that we all have a right to. However, for a variety of reasons to do with upbringing, life experiences, physiology, environment and so on? we often find ourselves with a mind-state other than what we desire. Depression, anxiety, and stress seem to be the major obstacles to just feeling good ? judging by the number of visits to doctors for help with these problems.
I?m Not Depressed; I?ve Just Been Having A Lousy Conversation With Myself
Not long ago, I attended a mastermind group. During the meeting, one of the women went into a litany about how terrible things had been in the past few weeks and how depressed she felt as a result. Inspired, I rose from my seat and told her, "You're not depressed, you've just been having a lousy conversation with yourself." She looked at me as if I had just arrived from Mars.
How To Help A Stressed Or Depressed Loved One
Having lived with a depressed partner for 3 years andsuffered anxiety and depression for 5 years, I'veexperienced both sides. In this article, I'll show youexactly what you can do - and, what you shouldn't do - tohelp your loved one.
How to Uncover the Reason You Cant Sleep Tonight
If you are like me ...you love your sleep!
Adult Men and Women Who Suffer From Chronic Depression
Market surveys on women, men and depression suggest an estimated 4.4 million Americans are believed to suffer from chronic treatment-resistant depression. Depression is a chronic, disabling disorder and a major worldwide public health problem. Depressive episodes usually recur over time, with risk for further episodes proportional to the number of prior episodes. After three major depressive episodes, the probability of recurrence is 90%. In the U.S. alone, approximately 18 million people suffer from depression over six million of which are receiving some form of medical treatment.
New Treatment for Chronic Depression
Vagus Nerve Stimulation for Chronic Treatment-Resistant Depression
Insurance Reimbursement for Vagus Nerve Stimulation and Depression
I attended the Vagus Nerve Stimulation Therapy Conference at the manufacturers' (Cyberonics) headquarters in Houston, TX in late July. The Conference presenters included senior management, psychiatric thought leaders and study investigators from the investigational clinical trial. In this article , I will limit the discussion to the question that I am asked most often; will insurance companies or Medicare cover vagus nerve stimulation for depression?
Depression: 14 Universal Laws for Recovery
The Law of Blue
How You Can Learn To Treat Depression
When a person undertakes a course of therapy through theirdoctor, and there is no improvement, they may be sufferingfrom a treatment resistant depression.
Tuning the Music Therapist
Music so strongly evokes emotional responses that it is being more frequently employed in the context of psychotherapy as a powerful healing modality. As a novice in this field I inquired at a recent conference on music therapy as to how this tool effects healing in clients with emotional disorders.
Antidepressants: Control or Cure?
What's curious is that most of them will be on these drugs for life. Equally curious is that over seventy percent of people who stop taking them, for any length of time, will relapse into another painful episode of their illness.
The Cost of Giving Up
I'm sure at times of deep crisis many of you have considered thoughts of "giving up". What is the cost to you of entertaining such thoughts? Well as one client with a progressively deteriorating illness I was working with stated "it's like having one foot out the back door".
Chronic Depression: Disease or Charcter Flaw?
A major survey on depression symptoms from the National Mental Health Association (NMHA), released in july 2001, revealed adramatic degree of progress in public understanding. Yet even amid this promising trend, the survey sheds light on thedifficulties faced by millions of people striving to manage this sometimes chronic, life-long illness.
Suicide Prevention: 12 Universal Laws
The Law of Permanence
5 Surefire Tips to Beat Depression Now
Being lonely is a normal part of our everyday lives... We get sad when we fail in our exams, when we're rejected by the person we love, or when someone very close to us passes away.
Eliminate The Belief That Your Illness Is Genetic
Many illnesses, emotional and otherwise, are often said to be genetic in origin. When one is told that their particular problem is of a genetic nature it often leaves them feeling helpless since, to date, the idea of reversing something that is stored deep within one's structural DNA, which exists in every single cell of one's body, is considered an impossibility.
7 Things You Can Do Immediately To Ease Depression
1. Get out now and walk fifteen minutes. It will get your feet moving and help you feel you are at least able to do something.
Aspartame and Your Mental Health
In 1965, a chemist working to develop an ulcer drug accidentally discovered a substance 200 times sweeter than sugar. The FDA initially shunned this substance because it caused seizures and brain tumors in lab animals.
|© Athifea Distribution LLC - 2013|