A vast majority of people who have experienced some mental illness have been blamed for their condition. They have been ridiculed, and their feelings have been discredited and referred to as “only a phase.” This discrimination and social stigma are very disturbing for people with bad mental health, and they can have a lot of problems because of this.
This social stigma around mental health issues causes people to be ashamed about their conditions, completely out of their control. Moreover, it prevents people from getting treatment and asking for help since they fear being judged by their peers.
This social stigma is a cruel burden on people who are already suffering from so much. Though there has been some decrease in this stigma over the previous decade, there is still a long way to go, and here are eight ways to fight the mental health stigma.
Talk about mental health more openly:
If we all stay quiet about our mental problems, the problem is only going to get worse. Talking about our mental issues encourages others to be more vocal about theirs, which is one of the best ways to eradicate the social stigma around mental illness.
Therefore, instead of keeping your feelings bottled up, talk about how you feel, and encourage others to do the same. Please go into the details so that people who haven’t experienced the mental problems you are going through can understand what it is like to live with a mental disorder.
It is more important for influential people to be open about their mental issues, as their bravery can empower many people.
Educate yourself and others about mental disorders:
Besides sharing your personal story, you should also learn more about different mental disorders, even those you haven’t experienced. Moreover, it would help if you promoted others to learn about mental disorders as well. This allows us to be more emphatic towards each other.
Moreover, it would help if you also took the initiative to stop people who are being insensitive or rude. If you overhear someone making a harsh comment about mental illness, you should politely intervene and express how they make you feel.
You need to understand that most times, people aren’t insensitive by choice, but lack of awareness is the real problem. Therefore, if you can educate even a single person, it is a great step towards eliminating the mental health stigma.
Be careful of your language:
Our language and the way we speak about people with mental illness can make a lot of difference. First of all, we should avoid using mental health conditions as a way of describing someone. We need to understand that these mental problems are temporary, and they don’t define the person.
For instance, instead of saying something like “it’s not a big deal, everything will be alright,” you should say, “you are brave, and I believe that you can get through this” both statements convey the same message. Still, the second empowers people with mental illness, while the first minimizes their experience, promoting the social stigma.
Find alternate remedies and tell others about them:
Most people with mental illness have to use pharmaceutical drugs like anti-depression medication and anti-anxiety pills. However, alternative medication for depression and anxiety is often looked down upon.
Modern research shows that pharmaceutical medication often comes with a long list of side effects that can lead to numerous problems. Therefore, cannabis is presented as a great alternative for those who want to stick to a natural alternative and not introduce chemicals into their body.
If you want to go down the same lane, there are numerous websites through which you can order cheap weed in Canada.
Give mental illness the same importance as physical disorders:
When people understand that mental illnesses like PTSD, depression, or anxiety are as dangerous as physical disorders like heart disease and cancer, they won’t make as much fun of it.
You never see anyone make fun of people with diabetes or hearing disorders. Therefore, educate yourself and the people around you and inform them about the severity of mental disorders.
Chronic stress, PTSD, and anxiety can lead to several physical disorders, including diabetes and cardiovascular problems. Furthermore, depression is one of the leading causes of suicide, and anxiety can lead to severe panic attacks and increase dementia risk.
When people realize how devastating mental disorders can be, they will be more reluctant to stigmatize them.
Be compassionate and empathetic towards people with mental illness:
We should be more vocal about our mental problems, and we should educate others, but above all, we should lead by example. We should always try our best to be compassionate towards people suffering from mental disorders and emphasize with them.
We need to take the initiative and physically help people around us. We need to be more involved and do whatever we can to support people with a mental illness.
A great way to help others and yourself is to join a support group. Even if you have already fought with your mental issues, talking to other people suffering from the same problems can be helpful and empowering for them.
Be Honest About your Treatment:
It would help if you also were vocal about your mental health treatment. Many people suffer from mental health issues but can’t seek support and treatment because they are ashamed of their condition.
Moreover, some people don’t even know about the right treatments for their mental disorders. Therefore, if you talk about your treatment methods and the therapists you visit, people around you will also learn about treatment options. It will help you eradicate the stigma eventually.
Let the media know when they’re insensitive:
These days, social media platforms play a very important role in our lives, and they can also be a significant contributor to the stigma surrounding mental health. Many people make ignorant comments about mental illness, and even some TV shows and movies can be offensive and insensitive.
It would be best if you made an effort to tell the media when they are wrong. If you find an insensitive post, make a point to report it and tell others to report it. Moreover, you should use social media to have a positive effect and fight the mental health stigma.
Share informative posts, and use your social media platforms to raise awareness about mental health.