The Disgusting Stigma of Mental Illness – a Mental Health Condition Is on the Rise Worldwide

The problem with mental health conditions is on the rise world-wide. Generally speaking, depression, anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, eating disorders, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are on the rise among our society. However, the stigma associated with mental illness is still in an alarming condition and is becoming a matter of concern for all of us.

What is Stigma?

Stigma is very much existing in our society. It is negative or often the unfair social attitude towards an individual or a group which often places shame on them for being different. Stigma is very difficult to overcome or eradicate as these beliefs exist for a long period of time in society.

This makes life very difficult for the people suffering from mental illness. This mental health stigma often comes from the family, relatives, friends, and neighbors within their respective community. People suffering from mental health issues are judged with stereotypical thinking and they are labelled as such (e.g., people suffering from depression are often labeled as being lazy).

Furthermore, if somebody even tries to get help for their condition by seeing a therapist or a psychiatrist, they are often labeled as being crazy. For this reason, as well as for fear of being ostracized by their peers, many people are not seeking the professional help they desperately need.

Reasons behind the stigmatization of Mental Health:

The stigma comes from beliefs which come from a lack of awareness, inept education about mental health, as well as ignorance, among other reasons. Many people possess fear about mental illness and thus stigma against mental health comes natural to them.

Effect of Mental Health Stigma:

The disgusting stigma of mental illness is alarming and it has serious effects on the people suffering from mental illness.

Nearly 9 out of 10 people suffering from mental illness are reported to have felt stigma or discrimination that has a negative impact on their life. They are the people who are least likely to find a good job, have a long-term relationship, live in good housing, or be socially included in the society mainstream.

The stigma against a mentally ill person can make the person suffer more, can make the case worse and stop the person from seeking professional help.

The stigma is not necessarily always a large gesture, it can be something hurtful or offensive, like dismissive language towards the mentally ill person. This makes the person suffer more and they feel lonelier and more helpless.

The effects of stigma can be described as follows:

1. Social isolation:

Often mentally ill people are socially isolated. They are being avoided by others and are not welcomed in the society.

2. Low self-esteem:

As the mentally ill people are isolated and often treated badly by others, they suffer from low self-esteem and become more and more helpless.

3. Hopelessness:

As society is not accepting mentally ill people, they tend to lose hope and their condition deteriorates further.

4. Shame:

The stigma often involves abusive language toward oneself. They may even try to hide themselves from the mainstream of the society out of fear and shame.

5. Avoiding Treatment:

Many mentally ill people avoid treatment out of fear that they may be labelled as crazy by the society. So, their condition becomes even worse.

6. Worsening Symptoms:

With the disgusting abuse by various societies and a lack of treatment, their mental health condition becomes worse, and the person starts suffering more.

7. Lack of Criminal Justice:

Oftentimes, mentally ill inmates do not get the mental health treatment they need to become productive members of society when they are released. This makes their conditions even worse and increases their chances of ending up back in jail again.

8. Discrimination at work:

The mentally ill person often faces discrimination at the workplace. This can make it extremely difficult for them to afford mental healthcare treatment (e.g., talk-therapist, psychiatrist, medication, etc.).

9. Unemployment:

The unemployment rate is high among mentally ill people. Once they are labelled as mentally ill, they are normally not offered any kind of job even if they have recovered greatly from it.

How can we overcome the stigma of mental illness?

Building of public awareness and educating people about mental illness should be our prime focus. Since the majority of stigma comes from a lack of education, superstition, and ignorance.

As for the person who is suffering, he or she must seek out proper treatment regardless of their fear to do so. If the person who is suffering from mental illness is not in a condition to take such actions, then their family members or close relatives should help them in this matter.

Summary:

Everyone in society has a role to play to help eradicate the stigma. In the book The Disgusting Stigma of Mental Illness, author Thomas Hlubin sheds light on this very issue. Moreover, it will be only possible if we educate ourselves properly and learn about the problems faced by the mentally ill person, remove the irrational fear of them, and build a helping attitude among ourselves. We must ignore and dispel the commonly held myths and stereotypes that exist in our society.

The person who is suffering from mental illness should also seek out professional help to get the treatment they deserve, as well as seek legal advice insofar as they were to experience any kind of legal violation against them.

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Company Name: Psych Times
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Country: United States
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