I would like to use my website for ‘raising awareness of the stigma around mental illness in order to erase it’
I have learnt a lot about mental health issues from research and others. Sadness, guilt, happiness and a whole range of emotions are involved for those concerned.
One thing is very apparent; mental disorders are often not dealt with well by those who have not experienced them or know very little about them. It is like many things really – if we do not know about something, we either find out more about it or just ignore it, or even worse, we are scared of it and therefore go against it.
A ‘Stigma’ is what surrounds mental health problems right now – those who suffer from one of them are seen to be ‘mental’, ‘crazy’, ‘loony’ and many other ‘terms’ and this is just not true. There are many other serious health problems, such as cancer, leukaemia or diabetes which, instead of scorn, lead to reactions from others such as care and charity, but these issues are no different – they are a problem for the person who has them and they should be treated fairly by others.
People ‘discriminate’ against others with mental health problems and therefore are in effect confirming that the ‘stigma’ is true and correct, yet it clearly is not.
Something really needs to be done to ensure that this attitude changes for the benefit of all.
I would like to suggest that we take another stance on our thoughts on mental health, and realise that those who suffer from one also need care and charity from others, and some understanding for who they are. They are just like you, apart from some of the things they think or feel, but they are not bad people or mad people.
Also, those with a problem, need to speak out and tell others, so that they can be supported, and not hide away and worry about what others will think or how they will react – there is a lot of support out there too!
Some mental health problems are:
- Bipolar disorder
- Personality disorders
- Anxiety disorders
- Eating disorders
Do you know someone with one of these problems?
Can you help?
The answer is yes!
These problems are widespread now (one in four people will experience mental health problems at some point in their lives), and many celebrities are now coming out as having things like depression, such as Ruby Wax, Alastair Campbell and Stephen Fry, so that it can be seen more clearly the amount of people who suffer and how to help them to get on.
Did you know that Winston Churchill, Abraham Lincoln, Florence Nightingale, Charles Darwin, and Marie Curie all had mental health problems? They did, yet they are well respected for their fantastic efforts in history for the good of men and women. Would this have changed if their problems were common knowledge? These days the answer is probably yes! But in a recent survey, only four out of ten employers said they would employ someone with a history of mental illness.
The problem with depression
People with depression are often seen to some as ‘being weak willed’ or ‘lazy and wanting time off work’ or that they should be happy. Depression is not something that can be turned on or off, and those that really do suffer with it will tell you that they feel trapped inside themselves and wish they could turn it off.
To read my updated posts on mental health issue subjects click HERE
To read case studies click HERE
To read about Charities and Organisations click HERE
To read about how to help, click HERE
To read all about Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), including my personal experiences, click HERE