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Hidden Mental Health – How the Stigma is Breaking

by Eileen O’Shanassy

Changing the Stigma and Fear

The stigma and fear behind Mental Health can be scary. Here are a few ways things are changing.

Mental Health is a topic that has carried a lot of stigma and baggage with it for most of recorded history. This baggage has made it difficult for those who suffer from a range of Mental disorders to seek proper treatment. The fear of labels and unfair judgment has forced many people to suffer in silence.

Anxiety and depression have gained acceptance faster than others, but drug addiction and bipolar disorder still carry the threat of criticism from the public. But even the friends and family of sufferers are often quick to make harsh judgments. The good news is, things are starting to change for the better, and the goal of accepting and getting the proper treatment to those who have mental health challenges is slowly gaining traction. The following article is going to explore the factors that have made this progress a reality.

Mental Health Education

Education has played a vital role in removing the stigma of mental health conditions. In the past, people were often of the opinion that mental disorders were just excuses used by those who had no desire to improve. But as we learn even more about these conditions and the situations that contribute to them, understanding each disorder is becoming easier than ever before. Just learning the biology behind some can help to alleviate harmful stigmas about mental health disorders.

Advancements in Brain Science & Tech

When it comes to removing the judgments associated with mental illnesses, science is making a lot of positive changes. Brain scans now allow us to see the neural activity that proves the existence of the conditions and the impact they can have on people’s lives. People have a natural tendency to reject and fear things they do not understand, but scientific studies have broken many mental conditions down in a way that paints a clear picture for everyone.

Not only can we see that drug addiction changes the way that the brain works, but per Nova Recovery Center, we can also see what kinds of treatments and medications are the fastest ways for addiction victims to recover. Currently most Residential Drug and Alcohol Treatment Center facilities use a variety of counseling, medication, therapy, and other treatments combined. Knowing which treatments and combinations will help can go a long way in patient’s lives.

Breaking the Silence

Unless a problem impacts people directly, it is easy for them to disregard and ignore it. Although almost everyone knows someone who has a mental disorder, they won’t always know about it. Those who carry the burden of mental health problems are usually reluctant to speak up because they don’t want to lose family and friends. As the stigma continues to break away, more people than ever before are finding the courage to end the silence. Once the public starts to realize that people about whom they care face these challenges, they can start to relate to the problem on a personal level.

Process of Changing Views of Mental Health

Every social movement that was meant to inspire change has been met with initial resistance, which is to be expected. People generally fear change and prefer to stick to things that are familiar. We now have a lot of individuals working to spread awareness. The public is becoming accustomed to mental health disorders and the difficulties that those who suffer from them face daily.

With the proper treatment and care, many people who have mental health issues can lead normal and happy lives. Rather than discovering how to treat these conditions, overcoming the stigma that surrounds them is the biggest obstacle that people face. Research, education, and public awareness campaigns are making slow but steady progress toward a brighter future for everyone. Mental health conditions impact more than the people who are diagnosed with them. Therefore, everybody has something to gain by encouraging those who need treatment to seek it.

Editor’s Note: For more information or support, visit

About the Author

Eileen O’Shanassy is a freelance writer and blogger based out of Flagstaff, AZ. She writes on a variety of topics and loves to research and write. She enjoys baking, biking, and kayaking. Check out her Twitter @eileenoshanassy.

This post first appeared on OMTimes Magazine - Co-Creating A More Conscious Li, please read the originial post: here

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Hidden Mental Health – How the Stigma is Breaking


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