Dealing With The Reality Of Mental Health Stigmas
Hats off; mental health stigmas are finally starting to clear. While some would argue that it’s well past time, this is a case of better late than never in a lot of ways. With one in four people worldwide suffering from mental health problems, this is a subject we need to understand.
But, as the general populace becomes more accepting, the same can’t be said for those suffering. A lot of the time, we judge ourselves more harshly than we would others. While many of us admit we would now understand if someone we knew was having a hard time, we fail to extend the same courtesy to ourselves.
Many people who ‘accept’ mental health issues, only do so if they aren’t affected. That stuff is for other people, not us. Some of us will even go so far as to ignore the fact that we’re struggling. We’re going to take a look at some of the main reasons we find it hard to admit our mental health problems.
A lot of the time, people fail to acknowledge their mental health struggles because they’re embarrassed. It can be hard to get past that long-held belief that mental problems are a sign of weakness. Nowadays, we know better. But, old habits die hard. Plus, it can be tough sharing your feelings at the best of times.
Let alone when they’re in such a dark place. Often, someone will avoid seeking the help they need because they don’t want others to know what’s happening. It may be that you need time off work, but can’t face your boss knowing. And, if you’re seeking treatment, there may be a fear that this would be hard to hide from your family.
Even so, it’s important to get past this embarrassment. It might help to start by talking to your doctor. They offer an impartial way for you to test the waters. Once you’ve spoken about things to someone who doesn’t know you, it might be easier to talk to your loved ones. Of course, you don’t have to tell anyone if you don’t want to. Bear in mind, though, that having a support network at a time like this is important. Despite what you think, everyone will probably want to do everything possible to help.
FAILURE TO TAKE SELF SERIOUSLY
Another reason for ignoring these issues is a failure to take ourselves seriously. We live in a world where we invalidate ourselves often. And, our mental health is no different. It may be that you’re struggling with depression, but convince yourself you’re just sad. In a lot of ways, this ties in with embarrassment. People who invalidate the problem may feel as though they’ll humiliate themselves by going to a doctor.
They’ve got real patients to see, after all. In truth, the fact that you’re even considering there’s a problem suggests you might be right. It’s also important to remember that a doctor will never laugh you out the door. There’s no harm in booking an appointment and getting a professional opinion. Sometimes, an official diagnosis is enough to ease the pressure you put on yourself.
FEAR OF TREATMENT
Even people who know there’s a problem may avoid seeking help because they don’t want treatment. It makes sense; no one likes the idea of putting mood altering chemicals into their body. Plus, there’s a fear of becoming dependent on pills to see you through. In truth, though, you don’t have to take anything you’re not comfortable with. While medication is one aspect of treatment, it’s not the only choice. You could also opt for counselling or therapy. You could do these without medication, or as well as. There’s no right or wrong way to get help. It’s all down to you.
DON’T WANT TO FACE REALITY
A more basic, but equally crippling mental health stigma for ignoring issues is a fear of their reality. Accepting help would mean facing the truth, and that’s far from easy to do. Often, mental health problems come from a deeper cause that we don’t want to face.
But even if that’s not the case, it can be frightening to admit there’s a problem. Many people would rather carry on as though nothing’s wrong. But, when it comes to it, facing mental health concerns is never as frightening as you might think. You may leave the doctor’s office wondering what the fuss was. All you need to do to move beyond mental health stigmas is take that first step. The rest, as they say, is history.