Stigma & Mental Health...

An insidious result of stigma is that it discourages people from getting treatment. Anyone attempting to manage depression, anxiety, or any mental illness is viewed as somehow being disenfranchised, isolated , dislocated occupationally and carrying little value with no social identity. Merely understanding how stigma has come into being does not mean we have effective methods for undoing them. We have assumed that if we reduce ignorance, we dispel stigma. Yet studies have found that even when efforts to combat misconceptions are successful, the result is often that the tenacious underlying prejudices are merely exposed but remain in place.

Mental health programs are built on the foundation that mental illnesses are like any other illness . The mistake comes in thinking that once people realize this, they will adopt a more accepting view. That's wishful thinking. Historic biases long ago made mental illnesses different and they have remained that way in most people's perceptions. But surely, the goal should be to educate the public that mental illnesses are brain disorders. Real neuro-biological diseases. No matter what... Well, yes, and that has indeed become a pillar of education efforts for at least a generation..... We've come a long way baby!





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