Mental Health Stigma Research Paper

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Mental Health: Stigma
“Why don’t you just stop?” “Stop being so childish!” “She’s just an attention-seeker. Ignore her.” He’s just stressed. He’ll be fine.” What do these all have in common? These represent a variety of reactions a high schooler struggling with mental health issues may hear. We need to ask ourselves why are these the comments and words we respond with. The stigma surrounding mental health issues has plagued us forever. If one is diagnosed with a viral infection or other physical illness, one is expected to seek treatment for it until it is cured or under control. Why is it that we leave mental illnesses for the most part untreated? They should be treated just the same as physical illnesses not just brushed off and left to worsen.
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Mental illness is not as measurable as physical illnesses, but it can have very similar and severe consequences on one's quality of life. Stigma, defined as, “a strong lack of respect for a person or group of people or a bad opinion of them because they have done something society doesn’t approve of.” (Webster) has created many problems because of the effect it has. In many cases it encourages people to be “in the closet” (Rose). about their illness; one of the worst effects that stigma causes is that it discourages people from accepting their illness and getting treatment. It has been long understood that social distancing and social isolation contributes and is commonly associated with poor mental health, physical health, and occasionally early death. This is known as, “the lethality of loneliness” (Friedman). This lethality of loneliness states that, “... social isolation predicts disability among individuals individuals with mental illness.” (Friedman). This statement, tells the audience that if you were to isolate 5,000 women and men, those with a mental illness would be more susceptible to a …show more content…
It has caused and causes a multitude of different problems a major one being that those struggling don’t feel comfortable with seeking help. With the number of these problems there are different causes for why people feel this way, one of the most notable reasons is the lack of knowledge and education surrounding mental illness. To bridge the gap between how we treat mental illness and how we treat physical illness, it’s important that we think about how our actions affect others, educate ourselves about the given topic before we create our opinions, and mainly that members of the community doesn’t just follow and believe what society expects them

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