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Our Mental Health Blogs

You Don’t Look Like Someone with a Mental Illness

You Don’t Look Like Someone with a Mental Illness

Mental illness looks like normal emotion, so you can't see it by looking. If we ignore the different ways mental illness looks, we risk too much. Learn more.

People’s notions of what someone with a mental illness looks like includes ideas of how they think a person with mental illness should behave. The idea that you can tell someone with a mental illness by looking at them comes from both misunderstanding and stigma. But, as more and more people discuss realities like high-functioning mental illness and so forth, people are beginning to broaden their understanding. However, we need to delve deeper into the idea that someone can look like they have a mental illness. The fact is, mental illness looks different in everyone, and I don’t mean simply from one illness to another, but within the same illness.

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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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The Stigma of Taking Mental Health Sick Days from Work

The Stigma of Taking Mental Health Sick Days from Work

Some think taking mental health sick days from work shows weakness. That stigma doesn't serve our mental health, and here's why. Take a look.

A post made by a woman named Madelyn Parker about the response from the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the company she works for after she said she was taking mental health sick days has gone viral. The compassion and understanding of web developing company CEO Ben Congleton toward Parker taking time for her mental health has drawn a wealth of virtual applause and admiration. There are, however, naysayers taking issue with the post, and one response, in particular, I’ve seen is riddled with stigma around taking mental health sick days from work.

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Mental Illness Symptoms Can Make Communication Difficult

Mental Illness Symptoms Can Make Communication Difficult

Mental illness symptoms can make communication difficult. Sometimes mental illness makes one not so likable, but we should empathize with unlikable people, too.Let’s face it, mental illness symptoms can make communication difficult. When it comes to mental illness, a lot of people seem to have it in their heads that those who have, and suffer from, mental illness are strictly tragic figures. When people share their stories of overcoming the sad brokenness their mental illness has brought them, we champion them and hold them in high regard. And we should, but not all people with mental illnesses fit that narrative. We need to communicate what mental illness really is.

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‘Man Up’ and Mental Health Stigma

‘Man Up’ and Mental Health Stigma

Don't say 'man up' to men who suffer from mental illness. Mental illness is not a character flaw. Find out why telling a guy to man up is stigmatizing.

“Man up” is some of the most unhelpful, stigmatizing advice a person can give to a man with mental illness. Recently, Piers Morgan has come under fire for questioning a statistic that says two-thirds of Britain’s population has experienced mental illness in their lifetime (Mental Health Statistics and Facts). The problem wasn’t necessarily that he was questioning the statistic, but his statement of Britain needing to “man up.” When this is applied to mental illness, “man up” just increased mental health stigma.

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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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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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