Mental Health Stigma and Prejudice
Stereotyping and typecasting remains prevalent in our society today. Stating that doesn’t mean that it makes it alright to use them against others. In today’s society Mental Illness is accepted, though sometimes, there is still a prejudice about it. Some people do not accept it, and use these stereotypes on people with a mental illness. For example, a woman can be targeted due to her mental illness, possibly creating an atmosphere where sexism can run wild. The media is a constant variable in this role; when someone with a mental illness acts out, the media makes it a headline and top story, mocking them at every turn.
As the media highlights the bad aspects of mental illness, the world can’t seem to listen and take it as a serious problem that needs to be understood. Instead of investigating deeply about mental health, people take the more ignorant approach for it is easy to do so. What is often illustrated on the news is false or extremely exaggerated. The individuals that do try to understand mental illness often know someone suffering from it, therefore they become more involved and educated on the subject in order to help. Depending on the circumstances, a friend or loved one can be the cause of the negative inflictions that cause mental illness.
Not only does having a mental illness have its own effects on the brain, people can start to perceive a person that effected person as negative. The person suffering can feel anxiety raising, courage falling, hopelessness settling in as they walk and feel eyes on them. They may feel fearful when going for a walk, going to an event, or even when raising their hand in class. It is never right to put someone in that position of self-loathing or self-doubt, only to make yourself feel higher and more powerful.
We have all been in both of these places; making yourself feel better by putting another down; feeling put down from someone. Both of these directions will not serve you, or the other person. Of course there is someone who is bigger, smarter, or can do more things than you. There is never a reason to hurt someone, especially someone that cannot help who they are. It is not okay to hurt someone because you do not understand what they are going through. We all go through something at one point or another, so it is better to respect a person then put them down. Let’s erase mental health stigma and create better ways of communicating and helping others- you may need some help in your future, too.