Removing the Stigma of Mental Illness

By: Patrick

We need to take mental illness seriously and we have to work to remove the stigma. Not being sensitive to mental illness can have dangerous effects. For example, if someone you know or love is dealing with a mental Illness and they are consistently letting you down, the temptation would be to abandon them, to cut off that friendship because you take it personally or to get mad. However, if you are able to recognize that something might be wrong with the individual (dealing with depression for example) you are able to me more gracious and not take things so personally. All of us know someone who deals with mental Illness (1 out of 5 experience mental illness in a given year)* and it’s time we got rid of the stigma for everyone’s sake.

Get off your high horse.

A lot of the reason this “stigma” exists is because people who don’t think they have any “issues” get weirded out when they hear someone is dealing with mental illness and they label the person as “crazy” or they think that this person is just going to be too much to deal with. I want to remind you of the following verse:

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit.Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”

Philippians 2:3-4

Are you able to value someone who deals with mental illness above yourself?

I have dealt with depression, it was a big part of my life from the ages of 16-25. I have got a lot of help with this and its impact in my life now is not nearly as great as it was 10 years ago. It is very disrespectful to me when people think that in all this time, i have not developed healthy means to deal with it and can function in society just as well if not better than most people that do not suffer from mental illness. Its honestly a shame that people look from their high towers down on those who wrestle or who have ever wrestled with mental illness rather than coming down to see that people who deal with mental illness are able to be amazing assests rather than liabilities to any organization.

You might not like my tone, but it’s meant to get a reaction. If we don’t work towards ending this stigma, it will prevent people from getting help because people will be embarrassed to admit to it and to talk about their struggle openly. I have seen first hand how this stigma prevents people from going after getting help.

Change the perspective:

If you had a broken leg and refused to get help, that would just be foolish.

If you had a family member or friend with a broken leg who didn’t want to go get help, you would make them.

Why do we treat mental illness any different?