Many people suffer from mental illness and hesitate to seek help due to the stigma surrounding mental health. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, one in five people in the U.S. is affected by a mental health disorder. However, the stigma surrounding mental illness makes it difficult for some people to ask for help.
Effects of the Stigma Surrounding Mental Illness
There are harmful effects associated with the stigma of mental illness that can make symptoms worse. People who have a mental illness can feel hopeless, helpless, and alone, and stigma can have a negative impact on recovery. Common effects caused by the stigma of mental illness can include:
- Lowered self-esteem
- Worsening psychiatric symptoms
- Problems with social relationships
- Difficulties at work or school
- Difficulty performing daily tasks
- Social isolation
- Bullying or harassment
People may avoid seeking treatment because they fear being treated differently due to the stigma of mental illness. The stigma comes from a lack of understanding and misleading information about mental health disorders.
Self-Stigma of Mental Illness
Self-stigma occurs when people internalize public attitudes about mental health disorders and suffer various negative consequences as a result. A way to challenging self-stigma is to promote personal empowerment. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, NIH, “One way to do this is through disclosure, the strategic decision to let others know about one’s struggle towards recovery.”
When a person internalizes the public stigma of mental illness, they can experience adverse emotional reactions, such as low self-esteem and poor self-assurance. Internalizing a mental health disorder can make a person socially isolated, affecting relationships with others. Self-stigma in the form of self-isolation has many harmful effects on a person’s health, well-being, and quality of life.
Stigma may cause a person to feel ashamed of something entirely out of their control. Most fear that comes from others is due to lack of knowledge despite mental health disorders being the most common health conditions in the U.S. More than 50% of the population will be diagnosed with a mental illness at some point in their lifetime.
Ways to Help Manage Mental Health
If you suffer from mental health symptoms, there are ways to help you get past the stigma of mental illness:
- Get treatment. Admitting you might need help for a mental health condition can be difficult, but medication and treatment can be tailored to your specific needs to restore total health.
- Never feel ashamed. Do not let the stigma of mental illness refrain you from getting help. Anyone can develop a mental health disorder at any time. Learn about your symptoms. Mental illness does not equate to personal weakness.
- Do not use drugs or alcohol to self-medicate. Using drugs or alcohol can increase the symptoms of mental health disorders and are destructive to your mental, physical, and emotional health. Using substances to cope can increase the risk of developing substance use disorder (SUD) or other serious health complications, such as heart attack, liver failure, overdose, and death.
- Join a support group. There are support groups and forums for mental health, and some are for specific disorders. Support groups are a great way to meet others who experience similar mental health symptoms. Listening to others’ experience may also help you create new ways to cope with symptoms.
- Do not isolate yourself. Surround yourself with supportive, encouraging people.
- Practice self-care. Setting time aside to do things you enjoy can help restore spiritual well-being. You may want to consider journaling, reading, gardening, or any other activities you enjoy.
- Practice good exercise and nutrition. Staying active with exercise regularly can help improve overall health. Exercise helps boost the production of the brain’s feel-good hormones and transmitters, known as endorphins. It also improves sleep, decreases anxiety, and increases energy. Eating nutritious food can make you feel good too. Both exercise and healthy eating can also improve your self-esteem.
Mental Health Treatment is Available
Mental health challenges can make you feel isolated, helpless, and hopeless while interfering with many aspects of your daily life. Some symptoms of mental illnesses can make it difficult to go to work, attend school, and maintain relationships with family and friends. The feelings can be intense and debilitating. Mental illness can disrupt activities you once enjoyed participating in and cause extreme fatigue. Sadly, the stigma of mental illness prevents many people from getting the help they need.
At Achieve Concierge, we take a holistic approach to treatment for healing the mind, body, and spirit for total wellness. We offer comprehensive mental health services that can include cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), psychotherapy, and mindfulness. Sometimes, a patient may need medication and life coaching. Our expert medical clinicians will explore treatment options that work best for your needs. We monitor your mental health treatment program’s progress and ensure you can safely manage your mental health symptoms.
Many people suffer from mental health symptoms and hesitate to get help due to the stigma and prejudice surrounding mental illness. At Achieve Concierge, we offer same-day mental health services so patients can get help in a timely and effective manner. We work with you to help you find ways to manage your mental health symptoms. Our team of dedicated and professional clinicians is prepared to develop the best treatment plan for you. Each person who suffers from mental health symptoms can respond differently to treatment. At Achieve Concierge, we offer youth and adult mental health services to help ease symptoms of anxiety, depression, and other mental health disorders so you can have balance in your overall health. Appointments with our clinicians can be made in-person or via telemedicine. We want to help you by determining the best course of action to improve your quality of life. To discover more about our services, call Achieve Concierge at (619) 393-5871.