The Stigma of Mental Illness: Why Are We Afraid to Admit it?

As humans, we all strive to be loved and accepted by others and when we believe that something is not acceptable to the public, we try to avoid it at all costs. One such thing is the stigma of mental illness. Although we have spent decades trying to dispose of the belief, many people still consider mental illnesses to be for the weak or crazy or they just don’t believe they exist at all. Some people believe that those with mental conditions such as depression or anxiety are just looking for attention. This stigma causes many people who need counseling to not get the treatment they need.

Stigma of Mental Illness

What is Stigma?

Stigma is to discriminate against someone or treat them negatively for any reason. For example, someone with a mental condition may be stigmatized by people who do not believe that mental illnesses are real conditions and they may believe the person is just seeking attention or looking for an excuse for their behavior. Treating someone differently because they have an illness such as anxiety or depression is not only wrong, but it can be dangerous because those you care about may not get help because they are too worried about you being disappointed in them. Those with mental health disorders are 90% more stigmatized than those with a physical illness, which is unfair since you cannot control a mental illness anymore than you can control cancer or diabetes.

What Can You Do?

If you are someone who has been looking down on those who have a mental condition, you need to take the time to educate yourself on these conditions. It is important that you know that mental illnesses are just as real as any physical illness and that the people who suffer from them really are suffering. Through no fault of their own. Someone who has depression cannot wake up one day and say, “I don’t want to be depressed anymore.” and then suddenly be happy. If that were true, there would not be any depressed people out there because nobody wants to feel that way. You need to understand that someone with a mental illness is really ill and needs to see a professional. This is especially important if it is someone you care about.

Loved Ones Who Have Mental Illnesses

For example, if one of your children has depression but they know that you do not believe in mental illness or that you think people with mental illnesses are weak or crazy, then they are not going to talk to you about it or try to get help. They will hide their feelings and doing that is dangerous, especially for those with depression because it can lead to suicide in some cases. If your child or whoever it is you care about feels that they cannot tell anyone or has to hide their feelings, they will spend all their time and energy trying to cover up their illness and will never get help.

Talking to a Professional

If you or someone you care about has signs of a mental health condition, counseling is just a click away with online counseling like what’s available at BetterHelp.com. There is no need to make an appointment and you can do it from your own home or wherever you may be. Talk to someone today about getting the help you need and stop worrying about stigma.

About Author : Marie Miguel

Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health- related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with BetterHelp.com. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.