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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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Talking to Children About Mental Illness Stigma Is Important

Talking to Children About Mental Illness Stigma Is Important

When you help children understand mental illness stigma, then you've done a good thing for their recovery. Find out why we need to talk about stigma with kids.

In the first part of this three-part blog, I wrote about what stigma can look like for children and how it affects them, as well as your first step as a parent or guardian to a child in this situation, which is to make sure you are not inadvertently stigmatizing your child. In this part, let’s take a look at ways you can help your child or children understand the mental illness, stigma, and self-stigma.

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Keeping a Journal Can Help You Fight Mental Health Stigma

Keeping a Journal Can Help You Fight Mental Health Stigma

mental health stigma can be diminished in your life by keeping a journal of your thoughts and emotions

Keeping a journal is a powerful way to make yourself feel better and fight mental health stigma. Most Psychiatrists and counselors will agree that there are many reasons why you should keep a journal. One of them is that keeping a journal allows you a safe place where mental health stigma doesn’t exist and can’t harm you (23 Journal Prompts to Improve Self-Esteem).

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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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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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Stop Comparing Yourself to Others to Stop Mental Health Stigma

Stop Comparing Yourself to Others to Stop Mental Health Stigma

Stop comparing yourself to others, because when you do, you are letting mental health stigma affect your self-esteem. The only person who it is fair to compare yourself to is you. Are you doing better today than you were yesterday? Have you improved in different ways from a year ago? Mental health stigma can make us compare ourselves to others who don’t have a mental illness or peers who haven’t been through the same things that we have (How to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others). 

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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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Setbacks in Mental Health Recovery Do Not Ruin Your Recovery

Setbacks in Mental Health Recovery Do Not Ruin Your Recovery

A setback in mental health recovery is a challenge because many have this idea that recovery must be perfect. The rhetoric tends to be that we’re strong when we’re recovering and we’re weak if we have a setback; I’ve even had someone tell me she was strong enough to avoid mental illness relapse. The way I see it, though, a setback in mental health recovery — and mental illness as a whole — is not that simply defined.

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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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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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