Mental Health Stigma

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Have you ever wondered how much stigma is attached to mental health or how much it affects people? The stigma of mental health is all around us, yet we do not pay attention and do not see it. Mental health stigma is caused by society not accepting the fact that it is a real thing, and it causes people to not be open, not be diagnosed, and many people fight a battle silently. There are many more reasons or effects of the stigma, but these are a few to talk about.

The first thing to talk about is the fact that society does not accept it is a real thing. One reason that society does not accept it is a real thing is that they want to believe it is the person’s own fault instead of realizing they cannot change it. Some people insist that stigma around mental health is no longer an issue in our society, and mental illness no longer a taboo topic. Those having this mindset likely don’t live in a community where asking for help means potential ostracization, or come from a cultural background in which seeking psychological help is deemed as a weakness, or have not had the unfortunate experience of being denied access to care due to subpar mental health benefits. In simple terms, to be of this mindset is to be privileged (“Abrams, Allison”).

Suicide plays a big role in the stigma that follows mental health. The main reason is that when people commit suicide some do not take it seriously and just think it is a joke. Mental health problems are more common in adolescents rather than in adults. With it being more common in teens and younger children, it is harder for someone to believe it is an actual issue.

The last thing is that it is mostly equal to it is common in men and women. Women are usually diagnosed easier than men because women are more open and vocal about their feelings. Men struggle with mental health issues just as much as women but are not open or vocal about it. The main reason men do not open up is that they do not want to look weak or let anyone know that something is wrong.

It is not fair for men to have so much weight on them to look a certain way; if they are struggling, they should be able to talk about it without society shaming them. In 1999 Surgeon General labeled stigma as perhaps the biggest barrier to mental health care (“Friedman Michael”). The doctor (“Friedman Michael”) paper also states that “research suggests that the majority of people hold negative attitudes and stereotypes, towards people with mental illness”.

A second is causes many people to not be open. A big issue with that is fewer people are diagnosed when there should be more. “Mental illness has wide-reaching effects on people’s education, employment, physical health, and relationships. “Although many effective mental health interventions are available, people often do not seek out the care they need”.

“In fact, in 2011, only 59.6% of individuals with a mental illness including such conditions as anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder reported receiving treatment”. According to the World Health Organization WHO and the World Economic Forum WEF, mental illness represents the biggest economic burden of any health issue in the world, costing $2.5 trillion in 2010; this burden is projected to cost $6 trillion by 2030 with two-thirds of these costs attributed to disability and loss of work.

And yet shockingly, of the 450 million people worldwide who suffer from mental health conditions, the majority 60 percent do not receive any form of care, with 90 percent of people in developing countries receiving no form of care (“Friedman Michael”). The main issue with that is people should be able to be open and honest, but the stigma that follows mental health makes them think that they cannot do that. Over the years there have been statistics that have shown that fewer and fewer people are being diagnosed.

The main reason for that happening is the stigma that’s attached to mental health. If people cannot be open and honest without being judged they are not going to be open. Many people do not open up about their struggles because they feel shame. In our day and society, people are being looked down on if they have a mental issue. People are shamed daily for having mental issues. The shame that they feel should not be there because if they have been medically diagnosed, they cannot just change what they are feeling.

The last issue is that people are constantly fighting a battle silently because of this. If people in society we more accepting, people would not have to fight silently. People feel that they must fight a battle silently because they are constantly told that they aren’t normal for feeling that way. If they did not feel like they could not tell anyone or talk to someone.

The suicide statistics would go down and more people would be open. Another thing is it makes people feel isolated and alone. Mental health stigma shames so many people, and they think that they are the only ones struggling with this problem. If we got rid of it, people would be more open and realize that they are not the only ones struggling with this problem.

Doctor (“Friedman, Michael”) says that people with mental health issues are more isolated than others. Isolation for people with mental health issues is not a good thing; this allows time for them to be alone and let dark and unwanted thoughts into their heads. This stigma doesn’t just worsen outcomes on a personal level but also complicates the care and resources available to people with mental illness. In its “Attitudes Towards Mental Illness” report, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) noted that stigma can result in a lower prioritization of public resources and poorer quality of care.

One research review of 22 studies that focused on barriers to care and mental illness determined that stigma and embarrassment were the top reasons why people with mental illness did not engage in medication adherence. The effects of stigma work both ways – mental health conditions are not typically screened in most health care settings, losing an important opportunity for care (“Friedman, Michael”).

The main argument here is that mental health stigma is a real thing and people don’t accept it. People do not accept it because they do not want to realize or admit that it is a real thing. This issue causes more harm to people suffering rather than the people around them. Mental health stigma is a real thing and the sooner society sees that and accepts it the sooner people will start opening up and start getting the help that they truly need.

From a public standpoint, stereotypes depicting people with mental illness as being dangerous, unpredictable, responsible for their illness, or generally incompetent can lead to active discrimination, such as excluding people with these conditions from employment and social or educational opportunities.

In medical settings, negative stereotypes can make providers less likely to focus on the patient rather than the disease, endorse recovery as an outcome of care, or refer patients to needed consultations and follow-up services (“Friedman, Michael”). The main reason people do not do that is that society does not accept that it is a real thing, and it causes them to not be open, and people feel like they need to fight their battle silently without help.

Cite this paper

Mental Health Stigma. (2020, Sep 21). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/mental-health-stigma/

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