Mental illness and mental health stigma have reduced over the years, yet they persist in our culture and impact how people perceive mental health. For various reasons, mental illness continues to be stigmatized, including a lack of engagement and experience with the condition. Mental illness can be humanized by interacting with somebody who has had or has the same diagnosis, says Psychiatry.org. It’s one of the most promising ways to decrease the stigma further.
Additionally, to help overcome it, personal tales can be very effective tools. Besides being open-minded about such a delicate matter, individuals must also be ready to educate themselves on sensitive subjects. Even while educating loved ones about mental health can be challenging, there are several advantages to doing so.
In our life, family members have the most significant influence. Generally, they take care of us from the time we are born, guiding us through life, and forming and shaping our worldview. Their advice and confidence are invaluable, primarily as youngsters; they teach us all they know and appear to have solutions for most of our concerns, either via personal knowledge or experience.
In the case of mental health, what happens if our family has never understood what it means to have a mental illness or doesn’t “believe” in mental conditions such as depression and anxiety? Suddenly, our family is no longer giving us the loving support we need when struggling with these issues.
Provide Better Support
To your loved one, you will be of little assistance if your life is in shambles and you’re barely hanging on. You need to take care of your own mental well-being to support someone from your family who is struggling. It will be easier to help each other through this difficult time and any potential mental health difficulties if you focus on improving your entire family’s mental health.
A Healthy Heart and Mind
In the case of illness (like a cold), people take medication. When coupled with lots of rest, medicine relieves the symptoms we feel and eventually making us feel better. Why, therefore, do we not participate in therapy in the same manner if we have mental health issues? The brain is also an organ, very much like our hearts, that we must constantly check and take better care of to stay healthy. As a result of this, food and lifestyles that improve heart health are often labeled as “heart-healthy.”
If we’re going to take care of the most critical organs in our body, it should be our hearts and brains by incorporating the same care on both. Putting mental health in this context can help expand minds and decrease misconceptions about individuals with mental health problems. A heart attack victim or someone dependent on medicine is not looked down on or shunned in our culture. It is just as important to look after your mind as your body.
Educate Yourself About Mental Health
This sickness affects the entire family, and it’s best to educate everyone on what’s going on. This chance will come to you if you are involved in the care system. Understanding mental illness will make it easier for you to care for your family, connect with them, and offer them practical advice after they’ve finished their treatment, whether personally or through online therapy. When you know more about your loved one, you can provide more significant and more effective support.
Harmful than Beneficial
Those with mental health problems and poor mental health might be exacerbated if the people surrounding them refuse to acknowledge their struggles. It was shown that only 25% of individuals with mental illnesses believed that others cared and sympathized with them, including family members. This is quite an alarming number. People without a sound support system might feel alone and might end up in a worse situation. They might find themselves suddenly viewed as an outcast in the family or feel how others belittle their problems.
Unfortunately, it’s not unusual for older family members to downplay mental illness. As a result of the attached stigma, apparent conditions in previous generations, such as psychosis, were formerly mistaken for depression. However, people also distinguish depression as overly unhappy, while only “mad” individuals experience it.
There was a disregard for mental health, and individuals went on with their lives. Because of this generational socio-cultural divide, addressing mental illness is still a taboo topic. It’s not uncommon for people with mental health issues to hear comments such as “you’ll get over it,” or “life is never fair,” and “grow up.”
We can help defeat the stigma of mental health in society with more resources and knowledge. Education can engage people in open dialogue, debunk myths, and change the way people behave with and perceive people with mental illnesses. If we are struggling with mental health issues, we can start by educating our family. Because of this, they can serve as a vital part of being out a support system.