How to help debunk Mental Health Stigma
Updated: Aug 28, 2020
Stigma is when someone sees as bad some characteristics you may possess and this can negatively affect you because of it. Sadly, this is the case for mental health.
For me, when mental health was not something that I was very aware of when someone talked about seeing a therapist, the first thought I had was this person is crazy and I would keep my distance, this all because that’s how society has talked about this matter. I think my depression started when my dad suddenly passed away. I started feeling like life had no meaning, I used to sleep almost 16 hrs a day, etc., years passed and I always thought that I just liked to sleep.
When I had my first child, I had post-partum depression, I thought it was just a phase, not real. Then somehow my life just felt like I was in a deep hole until I talked to other moms going through the same thing, and how they got help. That’s why is so important to speak up and talk about it. If someone hadn’t talked to me about depression, how to recognize it and how to get help, I would probably not be here today.
Having consultations with a therapist is not necessarily only for people with depression, anxiety, or addiction. Is also, to help get your thoughts organized from a professional, that can see the bigger picture that you may not see in times of being under stress or burnout
We are living in great times, where resources are endless. Depending on where are you getting the information from, of course. ALWAYS make sure is from a trustable source. Mental Health is one of those topics that is being brought for people to step out and seek help. Now for those that are not dealing with it, that may be thinking: “that’s pure bullsh*t, its all in your mind” OR “wow, never thought of this to be so serious, wonder how I can help”, there is ONE thing you can do at least: Be kind.
Be Kind, you might not want to agree on it or not know how to help but being kind goes a long way. Saying that you do not know how to handle a situation like this and let them know they should reach out to someone that does, or just asking the person how you can help.
For some people, it’s hard to admit they have this problem, and then having to step out of their way and having to expose themselves to get help it’s yet another battle. Obstacles, one after another, on top of having to deal with the overwhelming mental junk.
So, this starts with us, not only your friend, family realizing they have a problem, it begins with you, not judging. Put yourself in the other person's shoe before you do. Now, let’s clarify that if this person is mean, or tries to hurt you in any way, RUN, cut it out. You, also have to take care of your own mental health.
I also want to mention that if being “crazy” makes you happy and doesn’t hurt anyone, so BE IT.
This is from my own experience, perspective. I’m sure everyone has it different, I’m here to listen.