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Our Mental Health Blogs

Sharing Your Mental Health Story If You’re Afraid of Stigma

Sharing Your Mental Health Story If You’re Afraid of Stigma

Many want to share a mental health story, but are scared to talk openly about mental illness. Read this for 5 ways to start talking even if you're scared.

You may want to share your mental health story, but feel afraid even though many people have opened up about mental illness. We know that talking about mental health encourages others to do so as well. That sense of community and having a precedent of someone else talking about mental illness may have paved the way for you. However, seeing the negative reactions stories about mental illness have a habit of getting can be a deterrent. Mental health stigma can cause a lot of fear and anxiety. Here are some tips on how to get past that fear of stigma when you want to share your mental health story.

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Oversharing Your Mental Illness Struggles on Social Media

Oversharing Your Mental Illness Struggles on Social Media

Oversharing your mental illness struggle on social media isn't the same as mental health advocacy. Find out how oversharing on social media can cause stigma.

While social media can be a great outlet for raising mental health awareness, oversharing your mental illness struggles may attract unwanted stigma. Usually, this comes from people who already have preconceived, stigmatizing ideas about mental illness. Even so, oversharing your mental illness details online can actually generate more stigma. It turns out there may be a fine line between raising mental health awareness and oversharing your mental illness struggle.

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How to Handle News Coverage That Stigmatizes Mental Illness

How to Handle News Coverage That Stigmatizes Mental Illness

News coverage that stigmatizes mental illness by linking tragedies to mental illness can be problematic for many people. Find out how and what to do.
News coverage that stigmatizes mental illness often occurs after events like mass shootings and other tragedies. The reporters often bring up mental health and how that may have played a part in what happened. Whether or not there is even any initial evidence of mental illness, the fact that someone could commit such an atrocity invokes assumptions of mental instability. People then tend to associate that idea with mental illness as a blanket statement, despite how complex and different individual mental illnesses are. With these conversations inevitably comes misinformation and stigma, and when these news stories saturate our social media and even traditional media sources, it can be tough to contend with as someone with a mental illness. News coverage that stigmatizes mental illness creates problems for society and individuals, and here are two ways it happens.

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College Student Disability Services Helped My Mental Health

College Student Disability Services Helped My Mental Health

Student Disability Services exist to help students with their mental illness disabilities too. But stigma made it hard to see my mental illness as a disability.

I avoided Student Disability Services in college because of mental health stigma. Although I was diagnosed with various mental health conditions as a teen, it wasn’t until college that I truly realized the debilitating effect mental illness could have on my life. I was highly resistant to the idea when an on-campus counselor first advised me to make an appointment with my university’s Student Disability Services department. Sure, I needed help, but I didn’t need that kind of help.

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How Does Mental Illness Affect Criminal Behavior?

How Does Mental Illness Affect Criminal Behavior?

While not all criminals have mental illness, sometimes mental illness affects criminal behavior. Explaining the connection would help end stigma.

Mental illness can affect criminal behavior, but it’s important to dissociate people with mental illness from violent acts and criminality in general. People often assume that a person must be mentally ill to commit an especially heinous crime. This stigma has been discussed at length, including how people with mental health issues are more likely to be victims of violent crime, but I want to approach the conversation about mental illness and criminal behavior differently.

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Psychiatric Medication Stigma: There’s a Pill for That

Psychiatric Medication Stigma: There’s a Pill for That

Psychiatric medication stigma is more than it used to be. You're likely to be either 'weak' or 'cured' by medications, and neither assumption is right.

Psychiatric medication stigma makes taking medicine a sensitive topic in mental health treatment. While those of us with mental health issues may face psychiatric medication stigma, this can present itself in different ways. Some people believe that taking medication is a sign of weakness or they label people who take mental health medication as “crazy.” On the other end of the spectrum, there are those that think medication is a good choice, but wrongly believe we can cure all mental health problems simply by taking a pill. One way or the other, the psychiatric medication stigma is there.

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Introduction to Rachel Miles, Author of ‘Surviving Mental Health Stigma’

Introduction to Rachel Miles, Author of ‘Surviving Mental Health Stigma’

Rachel Miles, new author of "Surviving Mental Health Stigma", talks about her experiences with mental illness and how she plans to fight mental health stigma.My name is Rachel Miles, and I am very excited to be joining HealthyPlace to write on Surviving Mental Health Stigma. I was first diagnosed with depression and an eating disorder when I was 16 years old. This resulted in my first hospitalization as well as my first experiences with therapy, medication, and confronting mental health stigma. At the time, I had no idea what a significant part of my life these things would become.

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Facing Stigma From Within the Mental Health Community

Facing Stigma From Within the Mental Health Community

Stigma from within the mental health community shocked me last week at a mental health fair. Stigma comes from anywhere-even from people who should know better.

Stigma from within the mental health community is the last place I expected to come across stigma for mental illnesses. Last Wednesday, I went to a mental health event that was about mental illness in general, as opposed to focused on one kind or another. I was at the mental health fair, called MindFest, with the Canadian BFRB Support Network (CBSN), Canada’s only non-profit geared towards raising awareness and providing resources for people with body-focused repetitive behaviors (BFRBs). Since BFRBs are a lesser-known group of disorders, I expected questions, but I didn’t expect stigma from within the mental health community — the people in attendance.

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Mental Health Awareness Weeks Are Important to Combat Stigma

Mental Health Awareness Weeks Are Important to Combat Stigma

It may seem like there are too many awareness weeks, but mental health awareness weeks play a role in combatting mental illness stigma. Read to find out how.

Awareness weeks for mental health are critical. The sheer mention of an awareness week of any sort may already have you groaning. I know I’ve heard and seen comments from people complaining about how there’s an awareness week for everything. That could be true, but they’re a vital part of the dissemination of information and breaking down stigmas associated with whatever cause they’re for. For causes such as mental illness awareness, awareness weeks are an especially poignant way to demystify what mental illnesses are and are not.

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Use Self-Care Before Mental Health Stigma Breaks You Down

Use Self-Care Before Mental Health Stigma Breaks You Down

Mental health stigma can break you down to the point of triggering your mental illness. That makes self-care as important as mental health advocacy. Here's why.

We can be broken down by mental health stigma. Mental health stigma surrounds us everywhere, whether we’re aware of it or not — in movies, television shows, news, literature, and the list goes on. Despite each source generally rehashing the same stigma-fuelled notions and images (or perhaps because of it), the fact that there’s so much stigma can be really draining and we ought to take a moment to practice self-care before mental health stigma breaks us down.

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