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Overcoming Stigma around Mental Health Problems

stigma
Stigma makes people feel ashamed of things they have no control over. Stigma prevents people from seeking the help they require. Dealing with any mental health disorder is challenging enough for these people to deal with stigma

Most individuals who live with mental health disorders are sometimes discriminated against due to their condition. They are called names and sometimes isolated. Many view their disorders as something they can control with a bit of attempt. Most of the time, they do not get justice due to stigma.

Stigma makes people feel ashamed of things they have no control over. Stigma prevents people from seeking the help they require. Dealing with any mental health disorder is challenging enough for these people to deal with stigma. In simple words, stigmatizing a person who is already suffering from the inside is causing additional pain. However, stigma has reduced in recent years, but the pace at which it’s declining is still not enough.

Everyone must speak against the stigma surrounding mental health. People suffering from these conditions need to be loved and included to ensure they feel a sense of belonging. The following are ways how to overcome the stigma surrounding mental health problems.

How to Overcome Stigma Associated with Mental Health Issues

Seek Treatment

The first step to fighting the stigma around mental health challenges is seeking treatment or encouraging someone to find treatment for their condition. The way you seek immediate treatment for your physical problems without fear should also be the same way you seek medical intervention for your mental health challenge.

Treatment is essential in ensuring that the symptoms do not persist hence interfering with your daily activities. As you or your loved one seek treatment, gentleness and patience are required. It takes a lot of courage to seek help for your condition, and doing so means that you are ready to fight the stigma around mental health challenges.

Talk Openly About Mental health to Overcome Stigma

Most people with mental health disorders are afraid of talking about their conditions. This may be due to the fear of what other people might say regarding them. However, one of the best ways of fighting stigma is by talking about what you are going through. It might not be easy, but opening up may even make you feel a bit better.

If you are scared of one-on-one talk, we can now access the internet anytime. You can use Facebook, Twitter, and other online platforms to talk about your experience and create awareness about stigma. Out of a thousand people who will come across your message might change their view about mental illness and spread awareness.

Overcome Stigma by Learning More and Educating Others

Nothing is more powerful than knowledge. Learn more about symptoms and treatments for mental health illnesses. Knowledge helps you understand more about the proper treatment you require. On the other hand, try to educate other people about mental health disorders.

Let them know that mental health disorders can also be treated like physical problems. Ensure that you provide them with facts to eradicate rumors and stigma around mental health disorders. You can also talk to them about your experience with your condition, i.e., your ups and downs. When people understand more about mental health challenges, they are likely to view these conditions positively. Remember that people might not understand right away. Therefore, be gentle with yourself and others during the education process.

Be Compassionate with People with Mental Illness

Did you know that most people who live on the streets struggle with mental health disorders? Living on the streets without a job and a family to feed isn’t easy. With this kind of life, anyone can fall into depression and other mental illnesses.

Showing love to these people, offering them free hugs, and a listening year means a lot to these people. Besides those living on the streets, most people surrounding us are struggling with stress, anxiety, and depression. These individuals require compassion and understanding.

Let them know that they are loved and not judged due to their conditions. Listen to them if they are ready to open up, and don’t pressure them into talking about their situation.

Be Mindful of Your Language

To separate an individual from illness, ensure that you choose your words carefully. Instead of saying, “I’m bipolar,” say, “I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder.” Remember what you say about yourself and other people impacts your quality of life. What you have is just a condition and should not define who you are.

Speak Up Against Stigma

Each time you are in a group or are in front of many people, take that chance to speak and express your opinions about mental health disorders with confidence. Respectfully educate other people to promote change. Remind them that as they cannot make fun of people with cancer or diabetes, they also shouldn’t make fun of people with mental health challenges.

Making fun of these individuals may only make matters worse as it can make them have suicidal thoughts. Speaking up is not only a way to reduce stigma, but it can give courage to people with mental illness to speak and seek help.

Join a Support Group

Avoid isolating. If you don’t speak about what you are going through, it won’t be easy to get help. Many local and national groups offer support to people with mental illness. Additionally, these groups help educate people about mental health challenges and how to get help. Find a nearby group or research online for a group that matches your needs.

stigma
Stigma refers to societal disapproval, or when society places shame on people with mental illness and emotional distress, including anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

Overcoming Stigma Around Mental Disorders – Conclusion

Stigmatizing and discriminating against people with mental illness should be avoided. Making fun of these people can only make them feel more “miserable.” These people need love and understanding to get the required energy to deal with whatever they are going through.

As stated earlier, just the way you view other medical conditions seriously and cannot make fun of people with these conditions, people with mental illness need respect, love, and care. Remember, eradicating stigma around mental health problems starts with you.

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Samuel Njoroge

AUTHOR: Samuel Njoroge

Samuel (he/him) is a freelance writer, blogger, copywriter, and marketer. And a career spanning three years and enjoys crafting error-free content that increases subscriptions and sales. Samuel excels in mental health, self-improvement, technology, and marketing topics.

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