“Why is she going to see a psychiatrist? Is she crazy? I think we should stay away from crazy people”. These are some common lines used by the people of our society if they find out someone in their neighborhood or family is seeing a psychiatrist. Many people with serious mental health issues suffer doubly. On one hand, they have to deal with the disabilities caused by the disease and on the other hand, they are pressurized under the stereotype and prejudice that is caused by misapprehension about mental health. Mental health issues in students are very commonly found these days and due to stigma, they are afraid to come out and talk about their issues with their families. They are petrified that people are going to declare them as crackheads or mad. As a lot of people keep their issues to themselves they end up strangling themselves with stress, low self-esteem, pressure, fear and a constant urge to show people they are absolutely normal. When you are physically ill your family will rush you to the doctor but will disapprove of your psychiatric disabilities. So many people suffer mental health issues and they don’t undergo treatment until their condition becomes worse.
Effects of Mental Health stigma on people
The predominant reason for the delay of treatment is stigma. Families are worried about the label that others are going to attach to their child and it is going to stay with them for a lifetime. Moreover, stigma leads to discrimination. People with mental issues face discrimination, people around you make negative remarks about your sickness and treatment. They start avoiding you because they think you are unstable and can be violent, they feel threatened by your mental illness. This behavior causes more destruction in that person who is already suffering. Then they hide and resist seeking help. They even go through severe bullying and harassment which then plays a part in worsening their illness. Apart from adults, Mental health issues in youth are destroying many creative minds and future of our youth. They are stuck with the whole stigma issue and are unable to express their feelings. Compressed by this whole misconception about mental health issues the youth is under a huge burden of blending around the people so they look normal.
How to cope with the stigma of Mental Health
It is very crucial to normalize mental health issues and for that mental health, awareness is very necessary in order to remove misconceptions about mental health. Aware the people suffering from mental illness are also very important as they are one who goes through the most. There are some ways in which people can cope with stigma. Don’t let stigma create self-doubt and shame, try to follow the idea of “its okay not to be okay”. You may think that you are not ill and it’s just a sign of personal weakness here you can seek counseling from people who are close to you and with whom you feel easy with if you don’t have anyone then educate yourself here apply the formula of you can help yourself better than anyone. Never isolate yourself, try to reach out to close ones around you. There are a lot of support clubs for people who suffer from mental illness, join it.
What we can do to stop this is to speak against stigma and try to remove these misconceptions about mental health. Together we can make this better.