Mental Illnesses are a highly stigmatized set of health problems that affect how well someone is able to socialize, work, attend school, take care of themselves, or in some cases even navigate the channels of everyday life.
The stigma that surrounds mental illnesses prevent many people who could benefit from treatment from seeking it. This stigma is hurtful, unnecessary, and sometimes even deadly.
Reducing the stigma would allow many people the freedom they need to get well without having to face the derogatory stereotypes that the stigma creates.
If you yourself have a mental illness, or you have more than one, it is so important that you do your part in proving the stereotypes wrong. It is also important that you do your part in educating people who struggle to understand mental illness.
Try learning more about mental illnesses, not just signs and symptoms, but also the ways it effects the lives of people who have them. Work your hardest to stop using mental health diagnoses as adjectives. Be respectful towards yourself and others who have mental illnesses.
If you are close with someone who has a mental illness, and chances are in that favor of this (one in four people battle mental illness), try and educate yourself and most importantly be supportive. Sometimes you don’t have to say anything, sometimes you just need to listen.
And try, try, I know it’s so hard, but try not to be ashamed of your illness/illnesses. I know that many mental illnesses come with unfounded guilt, but being ashamed of your mind allows others around you to think you’ve got something to be ashamed of.
Mental Illness needs to be, and should’ve always been, regarded just as a physical illness is.