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Our Mental Health Blogs

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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When to Reveal Mental Illness to a New Friend

When to Reveal Mental Illness to a New Friend

Knowing when to reveal your mental illness to a new friend can cause a lot of anxiety. Learn about when to reveal a mental illness to a friend here.

It is often difficult to know when to tell new friends about our mental illness, or even one that a family member suffers due to mental health stigma. Many people who face stigma are judged by others, especially when making new friends, but it can still be important to be honest about your mental illness and reveal it as soon as you are comfortable.

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The Stigma of the Term ‘Commit Suicide’

The Stigma of the Term ‘Commit Suicide’

The term 'commit suicide' drips with stigma, although you might never have thought of it. The term 'commit suicide' should be replaced and here's why.

In recent years, the mental health community has been working to phase out the term “commit suicide” because of the negative connotations that are attributed to it. It really came on my radar two years ago when I attended a suicide prevention walk in St. Catharine’s, Ontario and spoke with Denise Waligora, who works with the Mental Health Commission of Canada. Waligora shared with me the stigma associated with the term “commit suicide” and how it was associated with crime and sinfulness (Talk About Suicide to Erase the Shame of Talking About Suicide).

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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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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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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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How to Respond to Stigmatizing Costumes on Halloween

How to Respond to Stigmatizing Costumes on Halloween

There are plenty of ways stigma surfaces around Halloween (Mental Illness Stigma And Halloween: A Teachable Moment) and this include stigmatizing Halloween costumes. Typically, we hear about costumes that are promoting hurtful stereotypes for cultural or racial groups and the posts start asking people to not wear those costumes because of the messages they send. Brock University in Ontario, Canada has even banned these types of costumes, as well as costumes that make light of mental health issues, and those costumes certainly are cropping up, too. So far I’ve seen one costume that is supposed to be a “skitzo” and then there is the widely spoken-against self-harm costume that was listed on Walmart’s website before it was taken down and an apology was issued. Here’s how you might responde to these stigmatizing costumes used for Halloween.

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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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Mental Health Stigma at School: Is Your Child Being Bullied?

Mental Health Stigma at School: Is Your Child Being Bullied?

Mental health stigma at school from peers can lead to bullying. Bullying can be an extremely difficult and traumatizing problem for children, especially those with mental health issues. Mental health stigma at school or even in the workplace often causes others to judge those who are suffering from a mental health issue. Further, during a child’s critical formative years, stigma and bullying can affect the child for years to come. This is not even to mention that when a child is being bullied and has a mental health problem, other problems than their original diagnosis could come up. These could be anything from social anxiety problems to depression. It is also important to note that bullying doesn’t always stop at school, it can go on into a person’s adult years.

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Overcoming Social Isolation Caused by Mental Health Stigma

Overcoming Social Isolation Caused by Mental Health Stigma

Social isolation caused by mental health stigma can be debilitating. Many people are aware of social anxiety disorder, but social isolation is a form of anxiety where a mental health patient is not in a care facility but their own home and has a hard time facing the many forms of mental health stigma in society (Mental Illness, Isolation, and Loneliness).

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