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HealthMental Health Stigma: What Is It, Types, Tips, And More

Mental Health Stigma: What Is It, Types, Tips, And More

What Is the Mental Health Stigma?

Mental health stigma can come from stereotypes, which are simplified beliefs of entire groups of people that are often wrong, negative, and offensive. They allow a person to make quick judgments about others based on a few defining features. For instance, people living with depression are often labeled as lazy.

Stigma is a way of negative judgment related to certain conditions, develops on a social level, and not specific to a person. Stigma occurs when a person describes someone by their ailment or illness. For example, they might be designated ‘psychotic’ rather than a person facing psychosis.

“Stigma is a process by which the reaction of others damage normal self-identity”

Facts and Figures:

The World Health Organization (WHO) reported that 25 percent (one in four people) of the worldwide population is affected by a mental disorder at some time during their lives. This mental health issue is believed to contribute more than 12 percent of the worldwide burden of disease.

A study published in 2007, reported that in low- and middle-income countries, between 76% and 85% of people with mental disorders receive no treatment for their disorder.

Mental Health Stigma prevents 40 percent of people with anxiety and depression from seeking medical help.

According to the Mental Health Foundation, 9 out of 10 people with mental health problems feel stigma adversely affects their lives. 

What Are The Types of Mental Health Stigma?

There are three main types of stigma. Social stigma, Self-stigma, and Health professional stigma.

Social Stigma

Also known as public stigma. This is the first and most common level or type of stigma. Social stigma can create barriers for a person with a mental disorder.

Self-Stigma

Stigma not only happens because of the bad attitude from the community and society towards any kind of mental illness. Self-stigma refers to the negative attitudes, including internalized shame that people with mental illness have about their condition. 

Health Professional Stigma 

Individuals with mental illnesses may not even receive the same level of care (compared to other than mentally ill patients) in general health settings once health professionals become aware of their mental health conditions.

Reason to Stigmatized Mental Health

Although stigma against mental illness is strongly associated with self-belief, it also comes from family, friends, and society. Few reasons to stigmatized mental illness could be:

Fear of people with mental illness

Poor Awareness

Wrong perception

Lack of education

Social or cultural norms

Harmful Impacts of Mental Health Stigma

Mental health stigma may worsen the on-going condition of the victim. Harmful outcomes could be:

Feeling of no hope

Reduce treatment persistence 

Prolong recovery time duration

Bullying, physical violence, or harassment

Bad gesture from family and friends

Facing difficulties at the workplace and social relationships

Higher chances of employment loss

Reduce the quality of life

Decrease self-esteem

Enhance the severity of psychiatric symptoms

Self-doubt and poor decision making

Lack of criminal justice

Be a Fighter Against Mental Health Stigma

Stigma is contagious, not only affects mentally ill individuals but also those who love, help and support them.  Let’s find out the ways to overcome this problem.

First of all, learn to accept your condition and recognize what you need to do to treat it

Talk about your mental health issues with healthcare professionals. Because they will help you on your road to recovery or management.

No need to isolate yourself. Go and reach out to people you trust for the compassion, support, and understanding you need.

Seek counseling and educate yourself about your condition.

Most of the judgments made by others before they get to know you. So, don’t get personal these false judgments.

It is important to know that you have equal rights as everybody else.

Always give your opinion through any medium either it could be the internet or social media. It can help you to face similar challenges and educate the general public about mental health problems.

“Mental health…is not a destination, but a process. It’s only about how you motivate, not where you’re going.”

What Do We Need to Do to Develop a Mentally Healthy Community?

It’s our collective responsibility to play a positive role in creating a mentally healthy community. We need to:

Avoid judgmental behavior

Don’t discriminate against people with mental illness

Treat them with respect and dignity

Don’t label them as psychotic

Encourage and educate them about mental illness

If you have experienced any kind of mental illness, share with them just to build their confidence

Final Thoughts

You don’t need to take big measures for mental health stigma or wait for a big movement, you can make a huge difference only by educating the people that mental illness is not anyone’s personal fault. We should help and support them to eradicate societal stigmatized mindset. I am pretty much sure that you guys have understood this serious societal issue. If you have any doubts or queries, contact us or just comment below.

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