Stigma in Mental Health Treatment

The next several posts will mainly be for the readers who are not in any form of mental health treatment.These posts will focus on barriers to treatment. Even if you are already in treatment, you will likely find this interesting or useful.

The first barrier to treatment we will discuss is stigma. Stigma mental health first aid course means a person is looking up down upon by others because what they`r doing seems social unacceptable. In this case, people fear what other people will think of them if they see a shrink.I’ll be the first to admit that stigma against mental health treatment is real.  However, I would suggest that the stigma is probably not as bad as you think. Also, the stigma of not getting help may actually be worse than the stigma of seeing a mental health provider.

mental health first aid course

mental health first aid course

Let’s take a closer look at this.If you go and see a mental health provider, who is going to know?  Your spouse and other close family members may know, and beyond that it largely depends on who you tell.  It’s true, that if you live in a very small community, there is a possibility that someone will see you enter the clinic and word may spread among the gossips.

However, if you’re having a significant mental health issue,there is a really good chance that your spouse and other close friends/family already know that something is going on.  And they are probably the people who most want to see you get better.The gossips are probably already talking about you, and even if they are not, then so what?

It is estimated that 15% of Australian will meet criteria for major depressive disorder at some time in their life. Most of us have either been depressed or known someone close to us who has been depressed.  Having concerns about your mood, sleep, thinking, or anxieties really don’t make you all that unusual.You’re not quite the oddball or outcast you probably feel like. Everyone’s life has its problems and dark areas, even if other people don’t let you see those problems. Other people are not going to judge you as harshly as you think, because most people have at least some idea what you’re going through.

If you do not get course, do you think people will notice your symptoms? Are your symptoms affecting the way you interact with other people?Are they damaging your quality of life?

You have to ask yourself whether the stigma of getting treatment will hurt you any more than what is already going on.There will likely be a greater amount of stigma if your symptoms cause you to do embarrassing things, miss out on important obligations, be irritable with the people you work with, or push away your loved ones. Heaven forbid, if you totally lose it and have a breakdown, or if you attempt/commit suicide, then these things will damage your good reputation far more than getting treatment will.

So, yes, stigma exists.But you really have to give it some serious thought and decide whether it is a valid reason for you to avoid treatment.

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