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Belittling discussions on mental illnesses adds to stigma around them

Posted on 10-24-2017 Posted in Mental Health - 0 Comments

The growing prevalence of mental health problems across the United States, combined with persistent efforts of federal agencies, has turned many Americans into mental health advocates. Many Americans are now opening up about their depression – a topic deemed taboo till recently. It has now found its way to the hearts of thousands of people who either have loved ones struggling with it or they suffer from it themselves. The veil over the problem of depression is gradually being removed with the fear of stigma diminishing, either completely or partially.

And, it’s not just depression, but people are getting more sensitive towards mental health issues, be it anxiety, phobia, psychosis, or some other problem. While there is an increasing level of acceptance and understanding for people battling mental illnesses, many of them unknowingly use clinical terms of mental disorders in a manner that render them farcical and irreverent to those who do not understand its implications.

People tend to use the word “depressed” when they are feeling sad over some trivial issue; some point to their family members or loved ones about suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) when the latter talk hygiene and cleanliness; having bad dreams or becoming suspicious about surroundings is viewed as a sign of PTSD. Though people cite words like “depressed” or “traumatized” frequently to explain such common feelings, this kind of behavior can result in making mockery of the real problem of mental illness that demands attention.

Discussing mental health issues

Using these terms in everyday life causes more damage than one can realize. Calling people depressed or obsessed downplays the significance of such terms, while putting across mentally ill people in a negative light, thus, depriving them of the right and opportunity to seek professional help. Moreover, it impedes the ability of most people to differentiate between the serious psychological health issues and overdrawn versions of expressions wrongly used in everyday life. Wrongly labeling people with possible psychiatric health issues may put them on the path of self-inspection that may aggravate to self-diagnosis and unwarranted tendencies of self-care.

America’s underlying mental health disorders from which stem various related issues of lost productivity, coupled with social and economic concerns, are prolonged. Observing the first week of October as the Mental Illness Awareness Week, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) recently made it public that during the year it will focus on five major issues to promote greater level of understanding among the American population. These disorders are – OCD, borderline personality disorder (BPD), depression, dual diagnosis and schizophrenia & psychosis.

Underscoring ubiquity of mental disorders

Numbers highlighting the commonality of psychiatric diseases among people in the U.S. show a grim situation. NAMI stats show how millions of Americans find themselves in the throes of adverse mental health conditions each year. As per NAMI, roughly 43.8 million American adults experience mental illnesses each year. Nearly 9.8 million Americans battle critical and prolonged mental diseases in a given year that can impede their daily activities.

Mental issues are not limited to adults. These problems can affect anyone unbiased of age, gender, race and economic affluence. According to NAMI, approximately 21.4 percent of American teenagers experience some kind of mental disorder.

Sensitizing people about mental problems

Haphazard use of terminologies meant to explain various mental illnesses mar their significance and underlying impact. It is time that we speak in unison against the stigma that interferes with people sharing their problems with their loved ones or in seeking necessary medical treatment. The best way to deal with a mental problem is to seek professional help from the right place.

Sovereign Health of Florida offers its patients evidence-based interventions in a safe, trigger-free environment. The treatment for mental health issues at our facilities ensures individualized attention and combines the best of therapy and counseling sessions with medication. For more information on our treatment of mental health in Florida and immediate assistance, call our 24/7 helpline or chat online with one of our representatives.

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The dual diagnosis program was what attracted me to Sovereign Health. My therapist was always open for discussion and the group sessions were very informative and educational.

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