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Our Mental Health Blogs

Does Stigma Make You Lie About Your Mental Illness?

Does Stigma Make You Lie About Your Mental Illness?

The stigma surrounding mental illness can be debilitating; it can even cause you to deny symptoms you need to share with your psychiatrist and treatment team (How to Talk to a Doctor About Your Mental Illness). The fact is, until you can open up to your doctor and others who are there to help you and be honest, it will be very difficult–if not impossible–for you to get the help you need.

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Is Mental Health Stigma Keeping You from Seeking Treatment?

Is Mental Health Stigma Keeping You from Seeking Treatment?

Mental health stigma keeps many from seeking treatment (The Stigma of Seeking Mental Health Help and Treatment). When an illness such as schizophrenia or bipolar exists, two things commonly occur. The first is a symptom of a mental health issue which stigma makes worse called anosognosia. Anosognosia is when you have a mental health diagnosis but lack insight into your condition — a huge problem with people who suffer from bipolar disorder. When you add this condition to mental health stigma, sufferers will not seek treatment because of these negative attitudes towards mental illness and their recovery period will be a much longer one. But that’s not the only problem that may keep you from treatment

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Don’t Stigmatize Mental Health Medication

Don’t Stigmatize Mental Health Medication

There are many ways that people cope with and treat mental illnesses, whether it be different types of mental health therapy, meditation, exercise, or medication. The list could go on and what it shows is that for each person something different will work. It’s part of the complex nature of these illnesses and part of the mystery that still needs solving.

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Self-Stigma Complicates Mental Illness Treatment and Recovery

Self-Stigma Complicates Mental Illness Treatment and Recovery

Stigma, as defined at dictionary.com is a mark of disgrace or infamy. Not all stigma is from others; sometimes stigma comes from within. When a person is ashamed because they have a mental illness of just about any kind, often because of negative opinions of others, they may try to hide their problem and not seek proper treatment. This effect is known as self-stigma and can be a barrier to relationships, employment, and especially proper mental health treatment.

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Mental Health Stigma of Seeking Help For Your Mental Illness

Mental Health Stigma of Seeking Help For Your Mental Illness

As I walk through the day hospital to attend a new cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) program, I feel a sense of embarrassment and shame. I wonder and search within myself to only ask, “How has it come to this?” As I stop by the nurse’s station to ask for directions to find my way to the group, I cannot help but sense that they must be assessing and judging me. There is a great deal of mental health stigma when accessing mental health resources for the purpose of rehabilitation and I believe a great majority of us have felt it at one time or another.

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The Stigmatization of Mental Health Medication

The Stigmatization of Mental Health Medication

I feel a lot of trepidation writing this article because it is based on such a controversial topic — medication and stigma, or what I fondly refer to as med-igma. The stigma of taking medication is something many of us know all too well. Hiding the fact that we take medications, feeling ashamed and fearful that other people will find out,and the internal med-igma that taunts us as we fill yet another glass of water to swallow our daily dose of  prescribed medications.

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The Military and Mental Health Stigma

The Military and Mental Health Stigma

On Oct. 28, 2013, Justin Eldridge took his life. He left behind a wife and four children, and the never-ending question of “Why?”

He had served more than eight years serving in the United States Marines, including an eight-month stint in Afghanistan.

He was 31-years-old.

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Mental Health Stigma: An Interview with Patrick Kennedy (Part Two)

Mental Health Stigma: An Interview with Patrick Kennedy (Part Two)

In this two-part series, I speak with former Congressman Patrick Kennedy, D-RI, about mental health stigma and the work he and others are doing, not only to combat stigma, but to bring research into brain disorders and illnesses to the forefront. Kennedy is a co-founder of One Mind for Research, a group dedicated to brain disorder research. In this interview, Kennedy speaks about mental health stigma; the role his uncle, President John F. Kennedy played in bringing about treatment to local communities, and the role of post-tramatic stress in the “astronomical” suicide rate of today’s veterans.

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Mental Health Stigma: An Interview with Patrick Kennedy (Part One)

Mental Health Stigma: An Interview with Patrick Kennedy (Part One)

In this two-part series, I speak with former Congressman Patrick Kennedy, D-RI, about mental health stigma and the work he and others are doing, not only to combat stigma, but to bring research into brain disorders and illnesses to the forefront. Kennedy is a co-founder of One Mind for Research, a group dedicated to brain disorder research. In this interview, Kennedy speaks about mental health stigma; the role his uncle, President John F. Kennedy played in bringing about treatment to local communities, and the role of post-tramatic stress in the “astronomical” suicide rate of today’s veterans.

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Carving Something Beautiful From Rock Bottom

Carving Something Beautiful From Rock Bottom

Over the past year and a half, I’ve been talking about things we can all do to instigate change in the realm of mental health stigma. One unifying theme that I keep mentioning is the need for people to come out of the metaphorical closet and share their stories. But it isn’t always that easy.

I chose the rather unorthodox method of writing and publishing my memoir. But that’s a little extreme. We don’t all have to write books in order to combat mental health stigma.

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