Mental illness has many stigmas attached to it that often cause people to hide their experience. Words like “crazy”, “psycho”, and “weird” can be offensive and create feelings of shame in those that are silently suffering from a mental health disorder. Unfortunately, society tends to perpetuate these stereotypes and overgeneralizations. Ignorant depictions and inconsiderate language in the media around mental illness can greatly, and often subconsciously, impact the public view and sensitivity on the issue. Consequently, people become quick to judge those suffering from mental health disorders without properly understanding the pain that lies beneath the surface.
Cultivating a Culture of Acceptance and Inclusion
Individuals suffering from mental illness need and deserve the same love, compassion, and support that would be given to someone seeking treatment for any other type of illness. One way of facilitating this is to reframe the way we speak about mental illness. Ultimately, this will change the way people with mental health diagnoses are perceived on a societal, as well as an individual level. Cultivating a culture of acceptance and inclusion around mental health will allow those struggling to feel safe and supported in sharing their experience and seeking the necessary treatment.
Working Together to Break the Stigma
Imagine how open and honest people would be about their experience if we worked together to break the stigma around mental health. Think of how many people would come forward and seek recovery if we emphasized that effective treatment is available and that recovery is possible. Consequently, consider how this would increase support and relatability among those suffering. Hope for a better life comes from seeing others successfully overcome challenges that seemed impossible to face. Having people to talk to that share their experiences, and creating community could greatly impact the lives of so many.
Resources and Treatment Options
If you are a friend or family member of a loved one with mental illness or addiction, make it a point to be there for them in any way that you can. Guide them towards recovery by providing them with local resources and treatment options. Avalon Malibu specializes in mental health and addiction recovery. We offer individualized programs to support your loved one on their recovery journey. For more information, call 844-857-5992 today.