Dealing with mental health issues is challenging enough by itself, but it worsens when you have to handle being mistreated because of it.
Regardless of the severity of your issue, you expend a lot of your energy in managing your symptoms and balancing your life, whether you are taking medication, working with a therapist, practicing well-being methods, or a combination of all three. Experiencing mistreatment or even abuse due to the stigma that often accompanies mental health issues can severely hamper your improvement.
What Is A Stigma, And Why Does It Accompany Mental Health Issues?
Stigma means “an association of disgrace or public disapproval with something, such as an action or condition.”
People may disapprove of those with mental health issues due to:
- Myths/Misunderstandings – there is much misinformation out there about mental health conditions; those who don’t inform themselves properly may have some false perceptions about a condition.
- Ignorance – many people don’t trouble themselves to discover anything about a mental health condition, leaving them in complete ignorance.
- Negative Attitudes – some people may look down on others they perceive as weaker than themselves.
Those suffering from a mental health issue may often be treated as dangerous, different, or somehow less valuable than other people. None of this is true, but such attitudes can be very hurtful.
How Can A Therapist Help Me Manage My Mental Health And Related Issues?
Working with a therapist can be very helpful in managing your mental health challenges and any related situations you may be experiencing. You may be living with someone, for example, who sees your mental health issue as a stigma – a mark or a blemish – and that can be exceedingly hurtful and hard to handle. A therapist is skilled in helping you to manage interpersonal relationships.
You may even be influenced by the stigma yourself and refuse to acknowledge that there is an issue!
- It takes more courage to go to therapy and deal with the issues than to turn away from them.
- Seeking therapy is actually not a sign of weakness but of strength.
- The cost of unchecked mental illness – especially depression – is terribly high. The second leading cause of death for Americans between 15 and 24 is suicide.
Bravery comes in recognizing what that something is, and healing comes in asking for help.
Here at John Nichols Psychotherapy, I provide a space where you can feel safe sharing your story, discover strategies for growth, and ultimately live happily and successfully on your own. I offer therapy services for individuals, couples, and teens.