Depression is more than just feeling sad and anxiety is more than just being stressed – it is the 21st century and some people still don’t understand the difference…
“It’s so depressing!” is a phrase that many people use when they see grey clouds wash over a sunny sky. Most people say it to express a feeling of sadness and it isn’t surprising that depression has become synonymous with feeling low over something like the weather. This is just one of the many myths that surround mental health and all of them create a stigma that prevents people to seek help.
Mental illness is an umbrella term used for a variety of disorders that hamper a person’s well being.Every disorder has different symptoms and each such disorder has to be treated separately. Labels like ‘crazy’, ‘attention-seeker’ and ‘suicidal’ contribute to not just social stigma, but also self-stigma, keeping victims from accepting their condition. Most people who suffer from depression and anxiety don’t realise their condition because friends, family, and teachers ask them to “Cheer up!” or “Take it easy”.
Why does this stigma matter? It matters because if mental illness goes untreated, people turn to alcohol, drugs and self-harm. The stigma also hinders effective recovery from these illnesses and awareness is important for social inclusion and effective treatment. One of the major reasons it is difficult for people with mental illnesses to confront medical help is the negative attitudes of society.
Mental illness can fall upon anyone.But it can be easily and effectively treated with the eradication of these stigmas and hence it is important to encourage mental health awareness. And awareness is necessary to tell people that mental illness is as real as physical illness.
Image credits: MedicalDaily