Just imagine! You went to play football, and suddenly you slipped and broke a bone. You obviously won’t be able to walk, so you decided not to leave your house until you are recovered from the injury. You don’t want anyone to know that you broke your leg while playing football. How embarrassing it would be for you – Right? Like how can one get slipped while playing and break a bone? Abashing.
Wait Wait Wait…stop drooling your eyes…we truly hope that this situation never, ever happens. But seriously… Have you thought about why someone would be embarrassed about it? In fact, everyone would try to take care of you and help you get out of the situation.
Now the question arises why we do not have the same approach to mental illness? Just because you can recognize physical ailments and mental illness is not visible. The only difference between mental illness and other ailments like the common cold or cancer is that mental illness is not visible while physical illness can be recognized easily.
One can quickly and clearly see the indications of a physical ailment like a red nose and changed voice indicates cough and cold, or a white plaster cast indicates a fracture, and so on.
But what if anyone is suffering from depression, anxiety, or bipolar disorder? How can they show or what bandage they should wear to show that they have a mental illness and openly talk about it?
For some reason, our society has made it difficult for those suffering from mental health problems to discuss it openly. They are afraid of being sidelined and called ‘mental.’ These reasons caused them to shut down and often made the situation worse. Peeps, you need to know that our minds are an integral part of our body too. One should feel free to discuss mental illness.
And this is exactly what we are trying to emphasize today. We should and must STOP treating mental health as a taboo subject. Discussing our mental illness should be as simple as discussing other physical ailments. They should not feel isolated, worthless, and ashamed. Here, we will share some easy ways to break down the silence and stigma that is so isolating to those experiencing mental illness symptoms.
Without further ado, let’s what we can do to combat mental illness stigma:
Steps to Overcome Mental Health Stigma
Speak Up Freely about Mental Health
You should talk openly about mental health – the fact that it is common and treatable. You should learn to accept the situation and recognize what you need to do to solve it, how you can seek support or encourage others to do so, and helping educate others can make a big difference.
Seek Professional Help
Try to bring a mental health revolution by adopting a holistic approach to healing. We truly understand that you or your friend may be reluctant to admit that they need treatment. Don’t let the fear of being labelled with a mental illness prevent you from seeking professional help. Seek advice and treat your mental illness before the situation gets worse.
Take Steps to Educate Yourself and Others
Learn more about mental health illness and how to get treatment, steps to recover, etc. Take time to attend Mental Illness training. By knowing the signs and how to get someone’s help, you can save a life. As said, Knowledge is power, so educate yourself about mental illness, symptoms, and treatments. It is the first step in getting the proper treatment one needs for mental wellness.
Choose your words carefully. Don’t use terms that make others feel isolated, worthless, or as insults. Avoid using the words like ‘crazy,’ ‘maniac,’ or ‘psycho.’ Always address the person first, not the illness. Remember, words can cut deeper than a knife. Kindness and self-compassion are key in healing.
Don’t Silently Endorse Stigma by Saying Nothing
Present yourself assertively and confidently, whether in front of a small group of friends or a huge crowd. To further foster progress, teach people about mental disorders in a respectful way. Making fun of someone who has a mental illness is harmful, and it only helps to increase shame. Not only would speaking out continue to educate the public and alleviate the stigma, but it will also help to reduce stigma. So don’t back off or remain silent. Speak Out against stigma and let others know when they are stigmatizing mental health.
Physical Health = Mental Health
Treat physical and mental health equally. It is important to pay equal attention to both your physical and mental health. Try to encourage equality between physical and mental illness. Moreover, show concern toward those with mental illness. Try your best to provide support to people who have a mental illness in the same manner, you would if they had a physical illness. Visit them in the hospital, spend time with them, frequently call to check if they need any help, make a meal, etc. It will make them feel positive.
Every single penny matters when it comes to saving lives. Your small contribution can bring a significant change to someone’s life! Stigma takes time to overcome. But by making yourself aware of mental health as well as taking steps to fight stigma, you will be able to support someone in your life in their recovery and make it easier for him or her to seek professional help. Help people heal, save people’s lives.