Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Beating The Stigma

The trouble with having any kind of mental health issue is that there is such a stigma surrounding them that a sufferer tends to isolate their self rather than talk about their problem.


Sufferers believe that those closest to them – family, friends and so on – will not have the ability to understand the condition they are afflicted with and, unfortunately, they are probably right. Education is getting better nowadays but it is a poor substitute for real understanding which is unfortunate as that means that even those professionals who are meant to be helping those in mental distress are only doing so based on their book-learnt knowledge.

All of this means that there is an opportunity for stigmatising sufferers that is all too readily grasped by non-sufferers because, as is so often the case, the unknown and the misunderstood is a source of fear that is best kept as distant as possible. The only way for a sufferer to beat the stigma surrounding mental health problems is to talk about their experiences and not to worry about how they appear in very hard but how else are non-sufferers going to know how mental issues can affect a sufferer’s day-to-day life? Books and leaflets can help to a degree but there is no greater method than personal stories to put across the horror that mental health issues can represent to someone.

Sufferers seem to want to have understanding from others but are equally unwilling to speak out because of the fear that they will be ridiculed or persecuted. Now is the time to speak out and hang the consequences because, due to the current economic climate, more people will find themselves falling into depression as they lose their jobs and they will be looking for people with the knowledge they need to cope with their new-found condition. This situation will put sufferers in a strong position to beat the stigma surrounding their mental health issues and gain some self-respect and understanding…but only if they are willing to make the effort to get it.

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