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Remove Success and Failure from Our Mental Health Vocabulary

Remove Success and Failure from Our Mental Health Vocabulary

Success and failure are common words in conversations about mental health. Read to see the impact they have and why we should change the language we use.

Success and failure are pretty common words in our everyday lives and they’re also prominent in conversations about mental health. When we see someone in recovery of any sort, we say they’re successful; we do this with ourselves, too. It’s often only when we’re acknowledging our own mental health recovery progress that failure comes into the mix. We feel like failures if we can’t succeed like those around us; we feel like failures if we have setbacks. It is because of that that I feel it would be better to remove the words success and failure from our mental health vocabulary.

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Does Seeing Mental Illness Stories Online Annoy You?

Does Seeing Mental Illness Stories Online Annoy You?

If seeing mental illness stories online annoys you, maybe you think it's done for attention. It's not. Here's why sharing mental illness stories is important.

In today’s day and age, it’s easier than ever for people to share their mental illness stories online. Whether it’s sharing a struggle, a small victory, a big triumph, or a plea for help, stories about mental illness are aplenty. While many call those who share their mental illness stories brave and strong, there are also those who tear them down, saying they should keep the information to themselves–and offline. If sharing mental illness stories annoys you, read on.

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Help Children Cope with Mental Health Stigma with These Tips

Help Children Cope with Mental Health Stigma with These Tips

You can help your child cope with mental health stigma with these ideas: a mental health toolbox, support, and validating their feelings. Learn more here.

As I said in the first two parts of this series, parents and guardians want to help their children through their struggles, and that includes knowing how to help children cope with mental health stigma. In the previous installments, I discussed how you can make sure you’re not inadvertently stigmatizing your child and then how to talk with your child about mental illness stigma. There are plenty more things that parents can do to help their children facing mental illness stigma but to conclude I want to touch on a few more things that can be done right now.

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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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Scars from Mental Illness and Attention-Seeking

Scars from Mental Illness and Attention-Seeking

Many people stigmatize scars from mental illness and say that choosing not to hide them is attention-seeking. Here's why it's not.

Scars from mental illness are common but if we show them, are we attention-seeking. In today’s society, we have a very weird relationship with scars. More often than not, I see them treated as a source of shame, even if there’s absolutely no reason for that shame. Surgical scars, scars from accidents, scars from scrapes and falls—generally speaking, they’re kept under wraps because they’re seen as “defects” to our skin. When it comes to scars from mental illness, that shame doubles (To Hide or Not to Hide Self-Harm Scars).

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How to Stop Ruminating on Memories of Mental Health Stigma

How to Stop Ruminating on Memories of Mental Health Stigma

If ruminating on memories of mental health stigma and discrimination haunt you, there are ways for you to stop ruminating. Taking back control when you remember events where you were stigmatized, can be as simple as taking a breath. Here are some techniques to help you stop ruminating on mental health stigma memories of when you were ill. 

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Don’t Let Mental Health Stigma Be a Barrier to a Full Life

Don’t Let Mental Health Stigma Be a Barrier to a Full Life

When you let stigma be a barrier to a full life, it means you are letting stigma win. By resisting stigma and fighting it, not letting it be a barrier, you are taking control of your life and will be on your way to mental illness recovery. Relationships and employment are not privileges, they are a right. As a human being you not only don’t have to put up with stigma, you also have a right to find work, make a living or supplement your income, and have healthy relationships. In other words, it is important not to let stigma be a barrier to a full, happy and productive life.

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Mental Health Stigma Affects Your Loved Ones by Association

Mental Health Stigma Affects Your Loved Ones by Association

Mental health stigma affects the loved ones of a person with mental illness, not only the person with the mental illness. I don’t mean in the situations where the loved one openly or inadvertently stigmatizes, but rather the stigma falls onto them to by association. I know it’s sometimes just a worry that we as people with mental illness have, and typically we look at it in the form of thinking we’re embarrassments rather than the targets of stigma, but loved ones face mental health stigma, too.

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How Comparing Mental Illnesses Can Lead to Stigma

How Comparing Mental Illnesses Can Lead to Stigma

It’s a natural thing to make comparisons, but when we compare mental illnesses, it can lead to stigma when you start using it, whether consciously or unconsciously, to figure out who’s sicker. While it’s very likely not intentional, when we, as people with mental illnesses, start keeping score, so to speak, we’re doing more damage than good. We end up seeing both kinds of stigma — stigma against others and self-stigma — as a result of comparing mental illnesses.

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Overcoming Isolation, Loneliness from Mental Health Stigma

Overcoming Isolation, Loneliness from Mental Health Stigma

Mental health stigma can cause isolation and loneliness in those with mental illness (Mental Illness, Isolation, and Loneliness). No one with a mental health problem should isolate themselves due to mental health stigma because loneliness can lead to more severe problems, even suicide. The loneliness of isolation certainly causes personal grief and sadness for those dealing with mental health stigma.

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