Acknowledging poor mental health and coming out to seek treatment could be viewed as the first step to recovery. However, a recent study published in The Lancet Psychiatry has found that for some afflicted individuals, mental health diagnosis is nothing short of oppression. The study highlighted the experiences of users of mental health services, caregivers, and clinicians in the face of a psychiatric diagnosis. Some of the study subjects hailed the diagnosis as helpful and regretted that they hadn’t received it earlier, while others expressed apprehension that being labeled as mentally ill could exacerbate their current woes and destroy them eventually.
The clashes between the two schools of thought have now begun to heat up social media platforms involving users in intense discussions. This phenomenon is expected to gain momentum when some users speak about their negative experiences of diagnosis on different platforms at the same time when a large number of people reveal their own battles with failing mental health due to the significant shift in public perceptions surrounding mental health.
Experts say that mental conditions, such as depressive disorders and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) are more likely to be viewed with optimism and empathy with afflicted individuals gaining more visibility on social media. Despite the stigma, the internet has validated the suffering of people with these conditions. However, there are instances of chronic mental ailments that continue to be shrouded in stigma, guilt, and shame, leading to discrimination. For example, someone diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, especially women, is subject to immense prejudice as they are branded as “attention seeking” and “manipulative.” Similarly, the diagnosis of schizophrenia can label the person as being delusional or someone who lacks insight, which can do far more damage to him/her than the existing condition.
The study also emphasized on the manner and the context in which a diagnosis is made, as a carefully offered diagnosis with clear information is seen as a ray of hope in difficult times. Moreover, experts also argue that the life experiences and cultural identities of individuals can also determine how they could perceive the diagnosis. For example, homosexuality was diagnosed as a mental illness till the 1970s. Therefore, someone who belongs to an LGBTQ community may have a perfect reason to view the diagnosis with suspicion.
Mental conditions are treatable
Millions of Americans grapple with a wide range of mental conditions each year, and the number does not seem to go down in the near future. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) reports that almost one in five American adults nationwide, which is approximately 18.5 percent of the overall population, suffers from a mental problem in a given year. The need of the hour is to invest in a comprehensive mental health plan to screen patients and diagnose the root causes of their disorders to prevent them from worsening.
Mental health is as important as physical health. If not addressed at the earliest, a mental problem could snowball into a larger complication, resulting in devastating consequences. But there is hope as it can be treated with the intervention of a mental health expert. Sovereign Health of California offers a variety of customized treatments for all kinds of mental disorders as well as any underlying health condition. Patients can opt for individual and group psychotherapy, or alternative therapies to regain control of their lives. Our residential mental health treatment centers in California are among the best in the nation. If you or your loved one is struggling with any mental ailment, call our 24/7 helpline or chat online with our representative to know more about our evidence-based treatment.