Do you or someone you are close to suffer from a mental illness? Have you received stigmatized responses because you have been honest about your diagnosis?
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If so, do not lose hope! You are not strange. You are not weak. Here are 5 tips that will help you get through the sting of the Mental Health Stigma.
1. Realize Their Ignorance
It is very important to note that a large contribution of the mental health stigma is due to the pure ignorance of people who have not suffered from mental illness themselves.
It’s so easy to be reactionary and get mad if someone says something that is derogatory towards your mental illness.
The long and short of it is – that won’t help! Do your best to educate them with your knowledge of mental illness.
It can be a very freeing experience.
2. Join The Mental Health Community
You are not alone. It’s actually surprising how not-alone you are! 1 in 4 of us will experience issues with our mental health at some stage in our lives.
And there is no better place (that I have found) to connect than Twitter. There is a wonderful, growing community on Twitter.
Whether you choose to be anonymous or completely yourself – you can feel free to discuss however you feel with like-minded people going through similar journeys.
Now that is great therapy.
3. Stand Up For What You Believe In
So many people, charities, and organizations are fighting to break the mental health stigma.
Why not be a part of it? You can make a pledge, fundraise and/or write about your experiences with mental illness.
The more you share your story the better you yourself will feel. Not to mention the inspiration you can bring to fellow sufferers!
4. Take A Close Look At Your Friends
Toxic friends are something you should certainly be aware of.
Ask yourself – do my friends support me or put me down? Do they make me feel good or bad about myself?
Do I feel empowered or helpless? You have the power to dictate who is in your life and who isn’t.
If a “friend” contributes to you feeling bad about your mental illness – maybe it’s time to ask the question – do they deserve to have such an influence on what I think of myself?
5. Recognize You Are Enough
Never give up. Whether it’s your boss who fails to understand your low days or your family not being able to support you the way you need.
Never give up. You are enough. Just because you possess this diagnosis doesn’t mean you don’t deserve the life you dream for.
Mindset is everything and I firmly believe that once you realize you are trying your best and that is enough – you are unstoppable.