Talking about mental health in a healthy way is something that societies across the globe have historically struggled with. However, with the increasing rate of mental disorders across the globe, it has become essential to bridge the difference between mental and physical health problems by understanding the risk factors and repercussions of mental disorders. It is time that people come together to dissipate the stigma associated with mental problems.Those spared from the afflictions of a psychiatric illness may not comprehend the impact of their actions or the dangerous outlook perpetuated by them on referring someone as “schizophrenic,” “deranged” or “demented.” However, it does not change the fact that stigma and perceptions related to mental health problems quintessentially criminalizes people suffering from the problem.Effective ways of fighting mental health stigmaWhen such false beliefs inflame stigmatizing attitudes, regardless of the form, they significantly affect the emotional and social life of individuals suffering from mental disorders. This not only lengthens their recovery process, but also prevents them from talking about their problems and seeking medical help. Therefore, it is crucial to fight mental stigma and here are some ways that can help change people’s outlook.
Refrain from making it a taboo: Talking openly about mental health problems creates a platform where people can honestly discuss their struggles with mental disorders. This provides an opportunity to convey to those suffering in silence that they are not alone and that help is available.
Stay informed and spread awareness: When someone misrepresents mental illnesses, most people prefer looking the other way or staying silent. However, to reduce the brunt of the stigma, it is important to express how such beliefs affect a person and the need to spread awareness.
Avoid using stigmatizing language: The human language is continually changing and evolving and so have the applications of words, such as “insane,” “nuts,” and “mental” when referred to someone with a mental illness. Unfortunately, portraying mental illnesses through adjectives labels the individual and does no good in improving the situation.
Treat mental and physical disorders equally: Just like physical diseases, mental illnesses are brain disorders that can develop in anybody. The need of the hour is to treat mental disorders like other chronic illnesses, such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, etc., to ensure effective treatment.
Choose not to be a victim: Stigmatization leads to discrimination and oppression of people with mental disorders. However, it is also possible to lead a life very different from the decadent view of mental disorders by simply honoring one’s choice to lead an empowered life by seeking treatment.
Need to alert media: The depiction of mental health issues by the media has so far been like a double-edged sword. Many a times, they’ve helped spread public awareness about mental health, yet at times they’ve also inaccurately portrayed mental illnesses. Therefore, it is important to alert media platforms about the ill effects of using stigmatizing language as both their media coverage and the consequences of wrongfully addressing mental health issues are far-reaching.
Talk about treatment and recovery: An uninformed and ignorant person may harbor apprehensions about mental health treatment. He or she may fear being judged as a weak person on visiting a psychiatrist or taking medications. When people who have recovered from their problems through medical interventions talk about their recovery, they have an opportunity to inform others. At the end, seeking treatment for mental disorders does not make a person weak. In fact, it represents his or her courage and will to get better.
Fight mental health stigmaMental health stigma can affect various aspects of one’s life. At its worst, it can lead to self-criticism wherein the person blames himself or herself for his or her condition. In such cases, stigmatization becomes an active ongoing risk factor for the disorder that prevents an individual from seeking the required help from others.
This is a powerful question, indeed. This caption is the crux of why some people are successful at permanent weight loss and others are not. It centers around how you view the actions that lead to that healthy, fit body.Obesity is a serious problem in the U.S. today. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one-third of adults and one sixth of children in America are obese. In the past twenty years, obesity rates doubled for adults and tripled for children. If these trends continue, by the time today’s children reach adulthood, obesity will be the norm and healthy weight the exception. In fact, for the first time in our country’s history, the current generation of children in America may have shorter life expectancies than their parents.SO WHICH IS IT FOR YOU? Is health & fitness a way of living for you? Something you do on an on-going basis? Do you plan your meals, at least loosely, for the entire week? Do you choose healthy meals to prepare and go to the grocery store with a list? Do you strive to make constant improvements in your decisions about what to eat and how active to be? If so, good for you! Your mindset favors a healthy lifestyle and will serve you well.Or do you consider losing weight and becoming more fit a two week endeavor to fit into a new pair of jeans or a new outfit for a special occasion? When starting a new “diet” do you say to yourself “How long do I have to do this?” “When can I have a treat?” Does it eventually get in the way of all the other things you want to do? Does it get hard enough that you give up and retreat back to your comfort zone? If so, you view health & fitness as a temporary fix. Unfortunately, it will yield temporary results AND make it harder for you to lose weight the next time.SO HOW DO YOU TRANSITION TO A HEALTHIER LIFESTYLE?To transition means to have a transformation or metamorphosis; to cease being one thing to become another. For example, a caterpillar morphs into a butterfly. You must be willing to let go of unhealthy habits you know aren’t good for you. It helps to examine why you are clinging to them in the first place. Then you have to be willing to give yourself the things you need to be the new you. You must believe deep down you deserve it.To have a healthy lifestyle, you must decide why it is important to you to be healthier and more fit. The answer to that question is a very personal one. There are as many answers as there are people. Dig deep to determine your goals, values, beliefs and intentions. Identify roadblocks, real or imagined. Do you have any underlying beliefs that no longer serve you?Finally, you must make it a priority. If you assign it a high priority, other things won’t get in the way of your health; your health will get in the way of the other stuff. If you are really honest with yourself, you’ll admit that you know deep down that time spent on caring for yourself is time well spent.