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Our Mental Health Blogs

Do You Isolate Yourself Because of Mental Health Stigma?

Do You Isolate Yourself Because of Mental Health Stigma?

Mental health stigma can isolate us, but we must remember we're not alone. Read this for tips how to overcome the urge to isolate yourself due to stigma.Some people with mental illness isolate themselves to feel protected from mental health stigma. Because stigma labels someone as an outlier, many people withdraw when feeling stigmatized for their mental health. Apart from the stigma of mental illness and self-stigma making us feel poorly about ourselves in general, seeing stigmatizing ideas all over the media, hearing them spoken to us, or even thinking them to ourselves can amplify the sense of isolation that mental illness already brings. We need ways to counter the isolation that mental health stigma brings as loneliness can lead to hopelessness and negatively impact recovery.

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How to Deal with Self-Stigma During the Holidays

How to Deal with Self-Stigma During the Holidays

The holidays can be stressful for mental health and trigger feelings of self-stigma. Read here for ideas to combat self-stigma during the holiday season.

As exciting as the holiday season can be, it can also bring up self-stigma about mental health problems. Spending more time with friends and family can lead to a lot of comparisons that may cause shame about one’s position in life. As someone who deals with mental health problems, I sometimes feel like a failure because I think I should be doing so much more, but mental illness has gotten in the way. Dealing with mental health self-stigma is always hard, and the holidays tend to be particularly difficult.

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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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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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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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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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Taking Care of Ourselves When Facing Mental Health Stigma

Taking Care of Ourselves When Facing Mental Health Stigma

Taking care of ourselves is more important than taking on mental health stigma. By taking care of ourselves, we become stronger to fight against stigma.

We need to take care of ourselves when facing mental health stigma. A little while ago, I was accused of pandering to mental health stigmatizers because in the blog in question I wasn’t going for a throwdown against them. There is a reason for that, which is, even though I share tips how to fight stigma and approach stigmatizers, my main concern lies with the mental health community and the damage that can be done to the people in it when they see stigma all around them. We need to take care of ourselves.

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How to Respond to Mental Health Stigma If You’re Frustrated

How to Respond to Mental Health Stigma If You’re Frustrated

Sometimes mental health stigma makes us frustrated and we want to go off on the person spewing it. Don't. Instead, respond to mental health stigma like this.

Although I understand the huge amount of frustration that comes from responding to mental health stigma, I also feel that there are two ways to handle irritation. One way is getting mad, worked up, and starting to sling names, threats, and sarcasm around like there’s no tomorrow. The other is to approach these stigmatizers with a level head and facts, and knowing when to disengage. In the world of the Internet, it’s pretty easy to go about the former, but in this blog, I’m going to explain why I think the latter is a much more effective way to respond to mental health stigma.

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Tips for Coping with Mental Illness Stigma at School

Tips for Coping with Mental Illness Stigma at School

Coping with mental illness stigma at school may not be comfortable, but you must do it. Read for some tips on how to deal with mental illness stigma at school.

Mental illness stigma in school is a reality. Depending on where you live, school may already be back in session after the summer break or you could be waiting for that first day back to school in early September. Whatever the case, back-to-school can be a tough time for kids with mental illness whether it’s personal challenges of getting through the day or the challenge of dealing with peers. Even if your child really enjoys academics, back-to-school might cause distress. I know it did for me, so I want to offer a few tips for dealing with mental illness stigma in school since that’s what I was often most worried about.

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Help Children Cope with Mental Health Stigma with These Tips

Help Children Cope with Mental Health Stigma with These Tips

You can help your child cope with mental health stigma with these ideas: a mental health toolbox, support, and validating their feelings. Learn more here.

As I said in the first two parts of this series, parents and guardians want to help their children through their struggles, and that includes knowing how to help children cope with mental health stigma. In the previous installments, I discussed how you can make sure you’re not inadvertently stigmatizing your child and then how to talk with your child about mental illness stigma. There are plenty more things that parents can do to help their children facing mental illness stigma but to conclude I want to touch on a few more things that can be done right now.

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