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Coping With the Stigma of Mental Illness

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People who live with a mental illness are sometimes judged by their condition. Unfortunately, this stigma is common and occurs when a person is viewed in a negative way because of their mental illness. Sometimes, people will avoid a person with a mental health condition. They assume the person is unsafe to be around or could suddenly become violent. The stigma of mental illness can lead to discrimination, whether intentional or not.

There are some harmful effects of the mental health stigma. When you have a mental illness, you can feel hopeless, low self-esteem, defeated, and alone. Family, friends, and coworkers might not understand your mental illness and health insurance might not fully cover treatment.

An individual with a mental illness such as depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or attention deficit disorder (ADD) sometimes turns to drugs or alcohol to cope with his or her condition. Using drugs and alcohol will lead to physical impairments and affect the brain’s function, which can cause death.

There are many healthy ways to cope with the stigma of mental illness:

Get treatment.

It can be difficult to admit you have a mental illness. Get the help you need from a professional who can treat your condition, prescribe medication if necessary, and manage your treatment.

Do not feel ashamed.

Do not let the stigma of mental illness hold you back from getting help. Learn about your condition. Mental illness does not equate to personal weakness. Seek treatment from a mental health professional.

Do not use drugs or alcohol.

A person with a mental illness could have major depressive disorder, generalized anxiety, bipolar or other mental health issues. Using drugs or alcohol can increase the symptoms of mental health disorders and are destructive for your mental, physical, and emotional health.

Join a support group.

There are support groups and forums for mental health and some are for a specific illness. This is a great way to meet others who share similar experiences..

Do not isolate yourself.

Surround yourself with supportive, encouraging people. Family and friends can learn more about your mental illness and join support groups to gain a better understanding of your condition.

Many people misunderstand mental illness and view it as a negative characteristic. The stigma of mental illness should not deter you from seeking treatment and getting help. A medical professional who specializes in treating mental illnesses can prescribe medication that will help manage the symptoms of your mental illness.

Rise above the shame and stigma by choosing to recover today. There is a world beyond the labels and judgments where healing is possible. Recovery needs to take place in mind, body, and spirit. That is why Enlightened Recovery Solutions offers a holistic approach to treatment, providing a multi-faceted partial care program rooted in evidence-based therapies, proven healing methods, and 12-step inspired recovery. Call us today for information on our programs for substance abuse and co-occurring disorders: 833-801-5483.