The Different Ways that We Perpetuate Mental Health Stigma Unknowingly
We without even realizing it may perpetuate mental health stigma. We may have internalized societal beliefs that translate into the language that we use surrounding mental health. While it may be unintentional, it is important that we are practicing awareness towards this. Here are examples of what mental health stigma may sound like;
"Mental health treatment is a scam! You don't need that."
"You just aren't choosing happiness."
"All people experience problems, you just aren't strong enough."
"This is all just in your head."
"Just stop thinking about it."
"They're just an alcoholic."
The words that we use can be powerful. While it may be unintentional, our choice of words can be shaming to those that experience mental health challenges and may serve as a barrier to them reaching out for support. Other ways that we perpetuate stigma are by not talking about mental health, using disorders as adjectives, and treating/viewing psychiatric medication differently than medication for physical health problems. Experiencing mental health challenges can feel incredibly isolating. Let's do our part to be mindful of our views and beliefs towards mental health while also making sure that we are a safe person for our loved ones that may be struggling.