Unfortunately mental illness is still stereotyped and stigmatized in our country. Although most people suffering from mental illness can be appropriately treated when properly diagnosed and monitored, a lay person thinks that there is someone wrong with a mentally ill person, or that the mental illness can be “turned off.”
As someone who used to work in the mental health field, it is especially sad when someone who is trying to learn how to best operate in this world has a mental illness that is looked down upon by his or her own family.
Recovery from the sometimes debilitating symptoms and effects of a mental illness takes the love and support, and even just attempted understanding, from loved ones.
It seems as though media intervention would be helpful, mainly in a more positive portrayal of the mentally ill in TV shows, movies, books, and even in news reporting. People throughout the United States seem to listen when something is associated with mass media.
Mental Health Stigmas
Another step toward mental health stereotypes and stigmas seems to be support groups. When a group of men and women, or one gender at a time, meet to discuss experiences with mental illness like depression, anxiety, or even borderline personality disorder, bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia, a sense of community can be created, and for many, a true sense of being understood may occur for the first time in that person’s life.
I also feel that even the concept of therapy for mental health maintenance is frowned upon and stigmatized. It seems to me that if everyone could keep good tabs on his or her own emotional state, the world would be a better place.
Instead of looking down on those seeking to stay mentally balanced, we as a society should make an effort to encourage self-care. I believe we would each treat one another with more compassion and consideration if we were more in touch with how we are feeling, and why, at any given time.
Listen to Dr. Larry Snyders discuss mental health treatment options.
Blog Post By:Jared Friedman