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Our Mental Health Blogs

Clickbait Contributes to Mental Health Stigma

Clickbait Contributes to Mental Health Stigma

Using clickbait for stories about mental illness contributes to mental health stigma. Find out how clickbait links damage the perception of mental illness here.

Clickbait can increase mental health stigma. In the fast-paced world of the Internet, where everyone is vying for even a moment of attention, clickbait has become the way to get people to come to your page, even for sensitive matters such as people’s personal stories of mental illness. Unfortunately, sensationalism takes over and stories get warped to where they sometimes don’t even reflect reality. In stories of mental illness, sensationalistic clickbait contributes heavily to stigma.

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Mental Health Stigma and Discrimination: We Need Both Terms

Mental Health Stigma and Discrimination: We Need Both Terms

Should we replace of the phrase 'mental health stigma' with 'discrimination'? No. Here's why both stigma and discrimination help us discuss mental illness.

The terms “stigma” and “discrimination” are both used in the world of mental health. There have been debates surfacing about how to talk about people’s negative perceptions and behaviors towards both mental illness and those with mental illness. There are those who say we should stop calling stigma by that term and refer to it as discrimination alone, but, while the two terms are often linked, they are not quite the same thing and having stigma and discrimination separately is beneficial.

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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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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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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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Make a Difference: Stop Using Stigmatizing Words

Make a Difference: Stop Using Stigmatizing Words

We all use stigmatizing words; some can’t seem to stop, some don’t know they are hurtful. The truth is, we can make a difference in our world if we stop using stigmatizing words (Language Can Stigmatize People with Mental Illness). We want to be able to talk about mental health and reduce stigma in the media, at home, and in the workplace. To increase awareness and to do this, we must stop using stigmatizing words and insist others do the same.

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Psychopaths Versus Those Who Experience Psychosis

Psychopaths Versus Those Who Experience Psychosis

Stigma affects those with psychosis, especially when people believe psychosis and psychopathy are the same conditions despite that the two are very different. It is wrong to stigmatize a person with psychosis in any way for many reasons. It is worse to stigmatize a mentally ill person with psychosis, accusing them of being violent or psychopathic. Psychosis is a condition common in people with schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, and bipolar disorder, among other mental illnesses

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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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‘Get Over It’ Is Unhelpful Advice for Mental Illness Sufferers

‘Get Over It’ Is Unhelpful Advice for Mental Illness Sufferers

'Get over it' isn't useful advice, ever. Telling someone with a mental illness to 'get over it' is as helpful as saying it to a cancer patient. Read this.

The phrase “get over it” is something the mental health community has heard and spoken out against many times (What Is Stigma?). In particular, we hear it applied to depression and anxiety, but likely because those are the two mental illnesses that are most spoken about. The problem is, even though we’ve discussed the phrase and the problems it presents, it’s still something we hear over and over again, which, to me, means it’s something we need to continue speaking out against. “Get over it” just isn’t helpful advice for a person with a mental illness.

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