In 2020, statistics showed that 25% of U.S. adults experienced mental illness. Unfortunately, over half of those adults are going without treatment. With millions of people being affected by mental illness every year, what is leading to the avoidance of or delay in accessing the help they need?
Stigma, prejudice, and discriminations against those with mental illness brings fear and shame into the equation. Today we’ll focus on the stigma surrounding mental illness.
HOW DOES STIGMA SHOW UP?
Cambridge Dictionary defines stigma as “a strong feeling of disapproval that most people in a society have about something.” Stigma tends to show up when things are misunderstood or feared, resulting in general negative attitudes. Misinformation and misrepresentations of mental illness depicted in media often reinforces and perpetuates stigma. While our society is actively becoming more informed about mental health and moving towards acceptance with mental illness, it’s clear that a significant amount of stigma still shows up.
A FEW WAYS TO CURE STIGMA
- Talk about mental health with friends, family, and others. Here are some past blog posts that cover talking about mental illness, borderline personality disorder and stigma, and the stigma around OCD.
- Be compassionate towards people with mental illness. It’s hard out there for humans! Offering kindness, empathy, and support can go a long way.
- Normalize mental health treatment! Caring for your mental health is as important as caring for your physical health. Let’s be open and honest about it. Going to therapy or taking medication doesn’t need to be discussed in whispers.