Addressing the Mental Health Stigma

mental-health-2313430_1920-300x262 Addressing the Mental Health Stigma

Improvements and New Developments to Mental Health Stigma:

In the last year or two, we have made drastic changes to tearing down the mental health stigma.  However, I feel that the increase in publicity of depression and anxiety disorders now contributes to an increase of some epidemic in the field. This new platform of mental health is used by many people around the world to explain why they are feeling down. It is “false depression.” Another bad development in those last few years is the new phrase, “I want to kill myself,” often said by someone without a single suicidal thought going through their brain.

What’s false depression, and where’d it come from?

False depression is a self-diagnosed type of depression in which a person is not clinically depressed, but since they think that they are, they become depressed. With mental health, often times the most important thing is the mindset. With the right mindset, we can overcome a whole host of mental health problems. When people start getting sad, the easy thing to do is to give in to it. Often, they will just give up and say, “I think I’m depressed.” That is the easy way out. Sadness is a good thing, it provides with us with perspective. We shouldn’t take sadness for granted. Using depression as an excuse for low levels of motivation is unacceptable, and we need to put it to an end.

The “I want to kill myself” problem:

I know we have all heard someone say it when they don’t mean it, “I want to kill myself,” or, “I am going to kill myself.” I have even seen it texted to me as “KMS.” This new development comes from people who face adversity in their life, and don’t know how to overcome it. Instead of facing the adversity they say this. This has terrible effects on those that actually mean it, and are reaching out for help.

If “I want to kill myself” now means “I don’t want to do this,” then what do people who are actually suicidal say? If someone is reaching out to others saying that they want to end their life, is anybody going to take them seriously? Or, are they just going to assume that the person is facing some form of adversity? If we soil this phrase, we don’t give those who actually need help a chance to reach out to others. It only adds to the stigma that mental health has been in. This is a huge issue in younger people, and it needs to come to an end quickly.

The stigma that still exists in the realm of mental health:

While we have done leaps and bounds to tearing down the stigma of mental health, one certainly still exists. As a speaker at my school once said, “if someone breaks their arm, you are going to rush over to help them. But, if someone says that they are dealing with depression, are you going to do the same?” I don’t think most people would, which is unfortunate in our society. Depression is not cured through a couple pats on the back and a “you’ll be alright buddy!” Depression is cured through a proper support network and lots of help provided to the individual.

We need to make it known that mental health is equally or more important than physical health. With physical health, we can take you to a hospital and get you all fixed up with a little scar. With mental health, the damage gets bigger and bigger everyday. After too long, the scar may be too big to ever get over.

Final words:

I just want to reach out to those who are clinically depressed, anxious, or suicidal. If you need help, please find it. I know that finding help with the current stigma of mental health is such a hard thing to bring yourself to do, but trust me when I tell you that it really helps. It is likely that the people around you don’t know what is going on, and you might want to keep it that way. Challenge yourself on this, tell them about what is going on. Maybe they will help get you back to who you want to be. I hope this post has helped someone out there, and thank you so much for reading.

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