Seeking Help: Stigma Behind Mental Health

Written by Aliyah Hurt

Mental health is taken seriously by many image1people, however there are a lot of individuals out there who believe that certain disorders do not exist or that the symptoms of disorders are not as serious as others make them out to be. People say that depression is just sadness, anxiety is just paranoia, and that eating disorders can be fixed by just eating more. In most, if not all cases, these conditions are much more complicated to deal with.

Mental illnesses are often minimized by people who do not understand the underlying reasons people develop them. They are also minimized by those who have them, yet do not want to admit to the issue at hand. Many people fear being labeled as insane or crazy, and as a result choose not to seek help. Other individuals fall into a state of embarrassment or have a sense of too much pride, and do not choose to seek help in fear of looking weak. However, it is perfectly alright if you or anyone you may know is incapable of dealing with any form of mental illness on their own.image2

No one should be labeled crazy or insane because they are dealing with a mental illness. Having to deal with such issues is not a choice, and most mental health issues are correlated to chemical imbalances in the brain. Certain mental illnesses may be triggered by past events or trauma someone has endured, but either way the individual did not choose for these things to happen. Mental health issues are called mental illnesses because they are basically sickness. One can seek help through therapy, counselling, and or medication, and get better. One can improve their mental health just the same as anyone can improve their physical health.

I for one, believe that mental and physical health go hand in hand. You have to take care of your mind to be able to take care of your body, and vice versa. If you or anyone you know is struggling with a mental health issue, do not be afraid to seek help or encourage others to seek help as well. A quick trip to the doctor to figure out what is going on in your mind will not hurt you. No one should have to feel embarrassed or ashamed because they are seeking help in an attempt to better their current way of life. If anything, I am sure people will admire you for admitting that you needed help and want to work towards getting better. You may even inspire someone else to seek help as well.

image3This helps open up the conversation about mental health. This helps create awareness for the hidden struggles people are confronted with every day of their lives. Being aware, speaking up, and seeking help with mental illness are all important factors in eliminating the stigma behind it. More people deal with some form of mental illness than we are aware of. This is why the terms “invisible” and “hidden” illnesses are use, because many mental health issues cannot physically be seen. They are internal problems within the brain. Sometimes people with mental illness do not even realize that they may be dealing with one, which is why it is important to open up the conversation. We cannot keep these problems suppressed, and we cannot act as though mental illness is a trivial weakness some people have. It is much bigger, and important to address.

Seeking help is not at all weakness, but the strength to grow, change, and overcome.