Stigma Surrounding Mental Health

Topics: Mental disorder, Psychology, Mental health Pages: 3 (1061 words) Published: June 13, 2013
Mr.Cooke Anthropology|
The Stigma Surrounding Mental Health|


Who would you consider to be stronger, someone who is battling cancer or depression? There is no definite way of telling who is stronger. Most people would say the patient battling cancer because they are suffering from a physical condition and cancer patients are often perceived as hero’s where as people with a mental illness are labeled as being “crazy”. No illness of any kind should be looked down upon, but mental illness is. Mental health is not only looked down upon by people but also by the media in movies and other forms. No one knows how this stigma started, but what they do know is it needs to end. The stigma surrounding mental health is a major factor hindering effective treatment because there is great deal of negative stereo types and discrimination against mental health. This stigma affects the treatment process as “many people avoid seeking out help for psychological problems because of the perceived stigma associated with needing mental health care” [1]. Mentally ill people often will not get treatment because of the attitudes of others. As said by the Canadian Medical Association “attitudes toward mental illness are a cause for concern” [3]. “Almost half of Canadians, 46 per cent, think people use the term mental illness as an excuse for bad behavior”[3]. This exact thinking is what drives patients away from treatment. They feel as if getting treatment is going to make people dislike them and make them feel weak and powerless. Due to this behavior “61 per cent, would be unlikely to go to a family doctor with a mental illness” [3]. This is a problem because in some mental illnesses not getting treatment could eventually lead to death. The fear of death and treatment could be stopped by just ending the shame and stigma of coming forward with a mental illness. ““Mentally ill people are nuts, crazy, wacko.” “Mentally ill people are...
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