The Stigma

stig·ma

[ˈstigmə]

NOUN

a mark of disgrace associated with a particular circumstance, quality, or person “the stigma of mental disorder” ·

One of the main reasons why people don’t talk  about mental health is the stigma.  It is  a complex issue that your can’t see  in an x-ray or fix with a cast like a broken  leg.  To this day there are people who still  don’t feel like it even exist.  It  has long been associated with the violence of  crazy killings,  suicides, mental intuitions  and straitjackets .  Thanks to the media and Hollywood it’s very hard not to think of this when mental illness is concerned. Stigma can effect people in different  types of ways whether its self stigma where you begin  to believe the negative connotations about your own illness or discrimination  and prejudice all having a great affect of your work and social life making you fee isolated and worthless.

Yet many people with mental illnesses  can still  live long successful healthy lives with getting the help they  specifically need.  The stigma of mental of health is still so prominent that sometimes it becomes very hard not to be consumed in what people will think of you and how they would treat you differently.  You become very scared that they  will think  of you as ” weird, crazy and  unstable”. This in turn makes you internalize everything and want to hide it. You become ashamed, ashamed of what you are, who you are.

The hard thing to grasp is that mental illness doesn’t define you. It does not  make you so don’t let it break you, you are more than your sickness and stronger than your suffering.  You didn’t choose to not to be well its something  that nobody choses it. In all honestly it is nothing to be ashamed of.  You are not a bad person because of it. However, this is something you have to come to realise on your own ,you have to  understand that yes you maybe different from others but you still deserve  to live a happy life , free from judgement too.

And for those of  you who don’t really understand what it feel like to live with  a mental illness. Don’t judge, don’t assume.  Have some compassion. No one mental illness  case is like another there are tons of factors that make  someone who they are. Take time to know that person they are more than just an illness.  Just by changing  one thing like not using words like crazy, nutter or psycho can make you much more sensitive to the issue.

 


On a wider scale we need accurate representation of mental illness in the media and in Hollywood and things like depression and anxiety should be taught and openly discussed in schools but thankfully there are many organisations out there that are working towards the goal of breaking the stigma.  Unfortunately many people do miss out on jobs or are wrongfully treated just because thy have an illness . It  is important that people know that it is not okay.  If you or anyone you know has suffered from  discrimination because of an illness or you would just simply  like to get more information on the matter then check out links below.

Mental health foundation UK

http://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/help-information/mental-health-a-z/S/stigma-discrimination/

Time to change

http://www.time-to-change.org.uk/what-are-mental-health-problems/stigma-discrimination

Government of Western Australia  Health commission

http://www.mentalhealth.wa.gov.au/mental_illness_and_health/mh_stigma.aspx

Mayo clinic

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/mental-illness/in-depth/mental-health/ART-2004647

SEE ME

https://www.seemescotland.org/

Like Mind, Like Mind

http://www.likeminds.org.nz/

 

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