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Help Your Child Cope With Mental Health Stigma

Help Your Child Cope With Mental Health Stigma

You can help your child cope with mental health stigma. Read how mental health stigma affects your child and how you might make mistakes in dealing with stigma.

When I was a child dealing with mental health stigma, I didn’t really know what it was that set me apart. As a young adult, I have a better perspective on the mental health stigma your child faces. Although I’m not a parent or guardian of a child facing mental health stigma, I have a clear memory of how stigma affected me as a child. Plus, I’ve seen what my parents have gone through as I lived with mental illness at a young age. I also read posts and hear from parents and guardians who have children that suffer or live with mental health problems, and it’s heartbreaking to witness as they grapple with trying to help their child and feeling powerless to do so. So when I can, I try to help. I hope some of the tips that follow are ones you find helpful as you navigate your child’s mental illness and the potential mental health stigma your child can face.

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What If Mental Illness Stigma Never Goes Away?

What If Mental Illness Stigma Never Goes Away?

If mental illness stigma will never go away, should we stop advocating against mental illness stigma now? That doesn't really make sense. Does it? Read this.

Playing the what-if game isn’t always the greatest of ideas, especially for those of us with mental illnesses that cause us to get stuck in the what-if mindset. But humor me for a second (or rather this post) because while playing the what-if game can be detrimental, I think there is some good to it sometimes and in this case, I think it’s one of those times. What if mental illness stigma never goes away? What then?

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Coping with a Breakup Caused by Mental Health Stigma

Coping with a Breakup Caused by Mental Health Stigma

Coping with a breakup is never easy, but when the reason for it is mental health stigma, the pain is especially raw. Get tips to cope with a breakup here.

Coping with a breakup after telling someone you love, whether it be a friend, family member, or romantic partner, that you have a mental illness is never easy. The scariest time is right before I tell anyone about my mental illnesses. It is always thoughts like “What if they think less of me?”, “What if they suddenly don’t want to be around me anymore?”, “They’re going to see me as a burden.” that make me anxious. You could probably name many other anxious thoughts and I could say I thought them, too. Ultimately, these fears of a breakup are based on mental health stigma, and coping with a breakup due to mental health stigma may be the most heartbreaking of all.

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How a Mental Health Community Reduces Stigma’s Impact

How a Mental Health Community Reduces Stigma’s Impact

Being a part of a mental health community can help reduce isolation associated with mental illness. Plus, mental health communities soften the impact of stigma.

Many xon’t know this, but a mental health community can reduce the impact of stigma. One thing that mental illness is really good at is making a person feel isolated and alone, which is a perfect way for stigma and self-stigma to thrive. There are a number of ways to combat that, such as reading more about the illness to learn the facts versus the fiction. But another way to effectively combat whatever sort of stigma comes along is to immerse oneself in a mental health community to reduce the impact of stigma and connect with others who have similar experiences.

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Use Physical Fitness to Fight Mental Health Stigma

Use Physical Fitness to Fight Mental Health Stigma

Physical fitness fights mental health stigma - and self-stigma - on many levels. Read this to find out why you should and how you can fight stigma with fitness.

There are many ways that fitness can help you fight mental health stigma. One of the ways people form stigmatizing beliefs about those with mental health issues is that they think they are lazy for not working or engaging in society. Mental health stigma makes people believe these myths, but myths can be busted by more individuals who have a mental illness getting healthy exercise and improving their fitness levels.

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Help Stop Mental Health Stigma: Arm Yourself With Knowledge

Help Stop Mental Health Stigma: Arm Yourself With Knowledge

stigma can be stopped when you arm yourself with knowledge and fight the myths at every turn

It is important to arm yourself with knowledge so you can fight mental health stigma whenever you encounter it. You may be seeking this knowledge for many reasons: for yourself, for a family member, or for people you work around or interact with who have a mental illness. By seeking knowledge on mental health, you can stop stigmatizing beliefs on the spot when you encounter people who have misunderstandings or believe mental health myths. By arming yourself with knowledge, you can help stop mental health stigma.

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Discussing Mental Health Stigma With Children Is Important

Discussing Mental Health Stigma With Children Is Important

More and more, people push for discussing mental health with children and to include education on mental health, mental wellness, and mental illness in the classroom and outside of it (Where is Mental Illness Education?). I wholeheartedly agree with this idea because it has the potential help children recognize mental health trouble in themselves and in others, and to know there is something that can be done if they’re struggling. Another big reason for the push is the aim to reduce stigma, but I can’t think of an instance in which it was said there should be lessons about stigma, too. Discussing mental health stigma is just as important as talking about mental illness.

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How Talking About Willpower Contributes to Mental Health Stigma

How Talking About Willpower Contributes to Mental Health Stigma

While people generally don’t mean any hard by saying “stay strong” to those with mental illness but talking about willpower can contribute to mental health stigma. Implying being strong enough lets you overcome mental illness can be problematic (Mental Illness Can Zap Motivation). Find out why the concept of willpower can contribute to Mental Health Stigma.

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Make a Difference: Stop Using Stigmatizing Words

Make a Difference: Stop Using Stigmatizing Words

We all use stigmatizing words; some can’t seem to stop, some don’t know they are hurtful. The truth is, we can make a difference in our world if we stop using stigmatizing words (Language Can Stigmatize People with Mental Illness). We want to be able to talk about mental health and reduce stigma in the media, at home, and in the workplace. To increase awareness and to do this, we must stop using stigmatizing words and insist others do the same.

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Mental Health Stigma Affects Moods and Relationships

Mental Health Stigma Affects Moods and Relationships

When people have wrong ideas about those who suffer from a mental health issue, moods and relationships can be affected by this mental health stigma (Misunderstandings Can Contribute to Mental Health Stigma). Moods are affected by mental health stigma because when you allow these false ideas to affect you, quite often you will have poor self-esteem, which can lead to other effects such as isolation. Isolation is one of the worst parts of mental illness and when you stay inside and shut yourself off from the world, the first thing to be affected is relationships which can then lead to or add to low moods. 

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