Is Mental Health Still Stigmatized?

Imagine a world where people don’t have to worry about who they are or how they look, where they can sleep soundly at night without worrying about feeling judged. That is what mental health is. It’s when your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors aren’t in turmoil. It’s when you don’t have extreme anxiety, stress, and depression. It’s a dream that many have, but for too many people, it never comes true.

Mental illnesses are still stigmatized, even though more and more research is starting to reveal what mental illness really is. Mental health disorders affect one in every five Americans every year, with the most common being depression. But is the stigma surrounding mental health changing? In short, yes. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, the conversation about mental illness is finally starting to change. Now, people talk about mental health issues like they would talk about any other physical health issue.

How can prejudice and humiliation influence those who have mental health issues?

Stigma and discrimination have real effects on individuals with mental health disorders, especially as they get older. Research by the World Health Organization showed that just 10% of adults with a mental disorder receive treatment, and some of that stems from stigma and discrimination. Here are three ways stigma and discrimination affect individuals with mental disorders and what you can do to help combat them.

Why should many people who have mental health issues face discrimination?

People with mental health problems are disproportionately unemployed, underemployed, and living in poverty. For those living with severe mental illness, the barriers to employment can be even greater. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reports that 27 percent of adults in the U.S. with a mental illness are unemployed, compared to 15 percent of the general population. The unemployment rate for people with serious, persistent mental illness is 40 percent, compared to 16 percent for the general population.

I’m being discriminated against – what can I do?

Being discriminated against by your employer, school, or government body can make you feel humiliated and hurt. Your legal rights must be honored, and there’s help available to keep you from getting further victimized. If you’re discriminated against in a workplace setting, you can avail legal help by checking out a site like (or something similar) and finding employment lawyers who can represent you. They can ensure that you get the equal treatment that you deserve.

Discrimination is an unfortunate reality in today’s society. From being treated differently in hiring, to being outcasted, to outright bullying, discrimination is something we all face at one time or another. But discrimination is not always so blatant; sometimes, that subtle sting of rejection, exclusion, or feeling unwelcome can turn us into angry, resentful, and bitter people. This behavior hurts not only ourselves but the people around us, too.

Being discriminated against is a common occurrence in the workplace. In fact, a 2019 study from Out Right Action International reported that 1 in 5 lesbians, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) employees experience discrimination at work. And according to a 2017 study by the Center for American Progress, 49% of LGBT employees reported experiencing harassment at work. While discrimination is illegal, it’s unfortunately difficult to prove. And filing a lawsuit can take months, if not years.

Harmful Effects of Stigma and Discrimination

Stigma and discrimination are undoubtedly negative, but both of these can be damaging nonetheless. The stigma of mental illness affects everyone and people with mental illnesses tend to suffer more from societal prejudices, and people with physical illnesses or disabilities often feel alienated from society. Discrimination, on the other hand, comes less from societal prejudices and is more directly abusive or harmful. Some forms of discrimination, such as racism and homophobia, are illegal, but others, such as disability discrimination, are not.

Stigma and discrimination are two main issues that go hand in hand with addiction. Because of the negative stigma, many people with addiction prefer to hide it and suffer in silence. They try to hide their symptoms and hide their addiction from loved ones. This can exacerbate the problem, leading to a deeper spiral into addiction. Instead, those battling addiction should be met with compassion and support. In some cases, professional treatment at recovery institutions like Paramount Recovery Centers may be necessary. These facilities provide specialized care to help individuals overcome their addictions and reintegrate into society as sober, healthy individuals.

Rehabilitation centers, such as the one mentioned above and many others, often incorporate various forms of treatment to make individuals feel comfortable while they battle their addiction. Similarly, psychiatric clinics offer comprehensive treatment for patients battling mental health disorders, which may not be directly related to addiction. These disorders could stem from childhood trauma or other factors.

These clinics often use biological and cognitive-behavioral approaches in psychiatry due to the sensitive state of the patients. In some cases, integrative forms of psychiatry might be used to treat severe mental health disorders with a combination of conventional and complementary therapies. This ensures a holistic approach, focusing on the overall well-being of the patient. Therefore, many consider it beneficial to seek out well-regarded psychiatry service providers when looking for mental health care options for themselves or their loved ones. Such providers may offer various treatment approaches tailored to individual needs.

Discrimination can be detrimental to anyone, but for people with addiction, it makes them more susceptible to developing mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. The mental health effects are often worse than the physical ones, and many people can overcome addiction if they receive proper treatment.

Similarly, people who have had lifelong mental health disorders, not as a result of addiction but due to various other circumstances, face significant discrimination as well. For them, the trauma will only worsen if the discrimination continues. This is why it is imperative to treat people with kindness instead of ridiculing them for their mental health.

Mental health is still stigmatized, and people are often too eager to label individuals with mental illnesses as unstable, weak, or in need of treatment. On the contrary, mental health disorders are just like any other medical condition; they are simply misunderstood. Mental illness is real and not something to be ashamed of or shunned.

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