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With many mental health movements out there, there is a fight against stigmatizing mental health. Stigmatization is the action of describing or regarding someone or something as worthy of disgrace or great disapproval. For some, this causes them to be blamed for their condition. Most of the time, thought of as “a phase.” Those with mental health disorders are then less likely to seek help, due to their feeling of shame for something that is not in their control.
There are ways to work on eliminating the stigma with mental health. To begin, you need to talk openly about your mental health disorder. The more you talk about it, the more information is out there for others to learn from. You may even find someone who you have helped by discussing what it is like to experience mental health issues. You are never alone when it comes to mental health.
Though you have your own personal experiences, never fear learning more. Educate not only yourself, but others as well. Share your personal story. Read books on your condition. The more you understand, the more you can learn how to cope with it.
In your journey in learning how to cope, if it involves therapy or medication, do not be afraid of being honest about your treatment. Remind yourself that you are taking care of you. While taking care of yourself, you can also control your own story. Choose empowerment over shame. No one knows your story or your struggles better than you. You own them.
Overall, you need to be conscious of the language you use. What you say and how you say matters more than you know. Think before you speak. You can also show compassion to those who battle with mental health issues. If you see someone who appears to be struggling, talk to them. Put yourself in their shoes if you were struggling. Would talking to a kind person help you?
Lastly, make sure to encourage equality between physical and mental health. Mental health is a disease, like cancer. Treat them the same; make sure to not self-stigmatize. Do not allow yourself to stigmatize your own mental health disorder. It is okay to not be okay.