“What mental health needs is more sunlight, more candor, and more unashamed conversation.” – Glenn Close
As history speaks mental illness was considered more of a social stigma than an illness. People who were suffering from mental illness were stigmatized, they have always been skeptical about mental health services, the very little that was offered back in the days. It is even more saddening to say that earlier people suffering from mental illness were considered dangerous and harmful, hence distance was maintained. As per the past concept of mental illness prevailing during those times, it was considered that the cause of the mental illness was to be something in terms of supernatural or religious beliefs. This made them alienate the sufferer. Fortunately, with the advancement of time and study, there has been a change in comprehending these notions with a scientific approach. Breaking a taboo or a stereotypical thought which has been the belief for ages is hard to accomplish in a period of a shorter time. Due to such age-old beliefs that people had about mental illness, it was hard for people in the modern age to reach out for help fearing the consequences which in turn left them untreated and in a very dangerous situation. Mental illness is a thing that has been socially disapproved of for quite a long time, and this makes it a cause for concern making it one of the major reasons for social stigma. Problems like depression, anxiety were devalued as stress and worries unaware of their deadly impact.
Mental illness is a serious medical condition not to be devalued
Just like our physical health, keeping our mental health in a good condition is equally important. Our mental health plays a key role to keep us healthy and happy. A healthy body is not possible without a healthy mind. An unhealthy mind disturbs our thinking capacity, mood, feelings, and daily functioning of life. More than the mental illness the fear of having it makes the disease difficult to handle. The negative attitude towards mental illness is a great problem to overcome. The stigma of mental illness was very closely attached to being mentally retarded, which is still very much in place and might take another decade to fully aware everyone of something as serious as - mental health.
The social tortures meted out to mental illness sufferer
People did not interact with people having mental illness made the situation worse for the sufferer. The alienation and not being able to completely understand the situation of the sufferer made this whole thing extremely unbearable for the victims where at times, they tend to feel ashamed of their situation. The mental health topic was deliberately avoided most of the time, owing to the stigma and people's oblivious nature attached to it. This ignorance amongst people made the person suffering from mental health shy away and alienate themselves from society making them suffer even more than they need to.
Time to visit a professional mental health practitioner
Mental illness is a disease that needs proper diagnosis and treatment which has to be done by professionals. A mental health practitioner also known as a therapist can help people identify the problem and the solution towards getting better. The social stigma around visiting a practitioner has to be diminished to get into a better world. Awareness of mental health conditions is the only way to reduce the social stigma attached to it. So we must be compassionate with the people suffering from mental illness and guide them to a professional counselor.