by Restorations Therapy Center on Tuesday, August 11th, 2020
Stigma occurs when people view an individual in a negative light because of a distinguishing characteristic or personal trait. Often this distinctive trait is seen as a disadvantage to the person, causing a negative stereotype to be formed.
Stigma can lead to discrimination through negative remarks or the poor treatment of others such as bullying, avoidance, and neglect. More intensely, stigma can lead to harassment or even physical violence.
Because of the stigma that tends to follow a mental illness, many individuals are hesitant to seek out help or treatment for themselves. Many suffer because their closest friends and family members do not understand them. A lack of understanding regarding mental illness is a common problem that causes stigmatization.
Mental illness stigma can lead to fewer opportunities for those who are suffering, such as not being able to find housing, being held back at work or school, and being left out of social activities. Another stigma can involve health insurance companies often not covering the cost of mental health treatment. Without proper treatment, it can be easy for you to fall into the trap of believing you will not be successful in life or be able to improve your situation.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, half of the population with mental illnesses receive treatment. However, this leaves out the tens of millions of individuals that need help and do not receive it. The American Psychological Association has stated that 30% of people that need therapy have not gone to a therapist, because of the stigma surrounding mental illness and counseling.
To help those with mental illnesses overcome the stigma surrounding getting help, people should understand how counseling can help with minor life events as well as major ones. It is normal to seek help for minor problems, major problems, and everything in between. Having someone o talk to about stress, body image, relationship problems, and other issues can be validating. You can also learn new coping skills and how to take care of yourself and your overall mental health.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness offers the following suggestions regarding how to fight mental illness stigma:
Always remember that you are not alone; seeking therapy is normal and even common. Talking about mental illness and seeking treatment for it should be an open and honest conversation. You can even help others by talking about your therapy and your recovery process. Reaching out can be hard, but it is not impossible. To take the first step, contact Restorations Therapy today at (720) 446-6585. Begin your path to healing by overcoming the stigma surrounding therapy!