Most people who live with mental illness have been blamed for their condition. From the name-calling to people invalidating their conditions, they call it a phase or something they could control “if they just tried.” As a result, they have been subjected to illegal discrimination and have received no justice. Stigma wields an unmanageable power in this way. Prejudice and discrimination create feelings of hopelessness and guilt in persons who cannot cope with these injustices, making diagnosis and therapy difficult. In addition, people are humiliated for things they have no control over. Therefore, the mental health community needs to speak out against stigma. Here are some strategies for combating the stigma associated with mental illness.
The most important thing you can do is seek therapy for your ailment or encourage those struggling to seek care. Don’t let the fear of being labeled with mental illness keep you or your loved ones from seeking treatment. For example, if you broke your limb or became ill, you would book an appointment with your doctor to get better. Medicine is critical for providing relief and minimizing symptoms that disrupt work and personal life. A known way to fight the stigma is to talk openly about mental health and how it affects an individual’s overall health. Another thing that adds to the stigma is the hushed tones in society discussing mental health.
Most people stigmatize mental health because they have no idea what it is. Use every opportunity to address snide and ignorant remarks about mental illness and substance abuse. Another way is to educate yourself and be self-aware of your prejudices. Respect and own your story if you’re having trouble, and don’t let others persuade you otherwise. Encourage those seeking help, and remember to acknowledge their stories and challenges. Be open and honest with those around you. Share your abilities, talents, and objectives to show them who you are. Encourage those who are having difficulty doing the same.