- Sep 19, 2020
How the Fear of Mental Health Stigma Impacts Day-to-Day Life?
What do you mean you feel low? If you only tried, you won’t be having such issues. Oh, come on! It’s just a phase; it will pass. All these remarks sound insensitive, Right? But what if you have to hear such comments over and over again by different people? Your confidence would be shattered. These are just some of the comments most people with mental health issues get to hear in their everyday life.
Stigmatization ruins confidence and self-esteem. Living with the fear of mental health stigma can have severe consequences on everyday life. Most people with psychological issues fear social stigma to the extent that they become anti-social, go into denial, or avoid getting treatment altogether. Stigma causes people to live in shame and fear over things they have little control over.
Before heading to how living in fear of mental health stigma affects your life, you need to know what a mental health stigma is.
What is a mental health stigma?
Mental health stigma is the reaction or discrimination of the general population towards people with psychological issues. It means that people who do not go through the same issues judge, discriminate, or look down upon people who face mental health problems. Mental health awareness campaigns are on the rise, yet stigma remains a hurdle to a discrimination-free society.
Effects of fearing mental health stigma on daily life
You must have heard that fear of a problem is bigger than the problem itself. Social stigma can be painful, but fearing it can hurt you as well. Here’s how the fear of mental health stigma impacts day-to-day life:
Feelings of shame and hopelessness
In many cultures, psychological health is considered a taboo topic and not openly discussed. Not knowing enough makes people stigmatize those who go through psychological problems. The fear of stigma makes people ashamed of their mental health as if it is their fault. The prolonged fear of being judged by the society then turns into hopelessness.
The solution to this problem is accepting the condition you are going through and understanding that other people’s opinions don’t matter. No matter what people think, the symptoms of mental health problems can be managed with the help of Therapists / Psychologists.
What are they whispering about? Are they making fun of me? These fears are common and make it uncomfortable to be in social gatherings. Everyone has the right to enjoy their life freely without being stigmatized due to any physical/psychological health issue. If you fear being judged due to your mental health problem, chances are, you would rather stay isolated in your comfort zone instead of being in public.
The fear of stigma acts as a social barrier and prevents people from communicating with the outside world. It can increase loneliness and pave its way to depression. Psychologists help you fight the fear and manage your mental health issue through a thorough step by step process using advanced Individual Therapy sessions.
Reluctance to seek help
One of the most harmful impacts of fearing stigma is the reluctance to seek help. People who fear stigma avoid getting professional advice because they think a clinical diagnosis may strengthen people’s biased beliefs. They go through a denial of having psychological problems to prevent getting judged by their social circle.
Avoiding professional help can worsen the condition you’re going through. Therapists / Psychologists help you identify the problems you are facing and cope with them.
Missing out opportunities
Fearing mental health stigma makes you miss golden opportunities. It is often related to unemployment because people fear being judged or ridiculed at workplaces. They don’t live up to their potential and let their skills stay unappreciated. Employers with mental health issues also miss out on significant events that could be beneficial for their careers.
A trained Therapist or Psychologist helps you determine your goals and aims. Therapy sessions with professional Therapists / Psychologists help you chase the opportunities and deal with stigma without fear.
Distance from family and friends
Sometimes, judgment can come from close friends and family. Fearing that no one will understand the condition they are going through, people with mental health problems get distant from their family members and friends. They fear that their loved ones will think low of them not only creates hurdles in relationships but also makes one feel alone during their tough time.
Communicating with your loved ones helps to get rid of this fear, and you feel more included. Family therapy with trained Therapists / Psychologists can be useful to help you communicate better with your family and deal with differences in a positive environment.
The biggest problem with fearing mental health stigma is that it creates a feeling of self-doubt. People facing psychological issues think that they are not good enough and doubt their abilities even if they excel at something. They fear whatever they do won’t be enough. Struggling with self-doubt is often linked with a lack of confidence. Fearing mental health stigma is the biggest contributor to loss of confidence.
If you’re facing self-doubt, lack confidence, and fear being judged by the people around you, it is time to seek professional help.
Where to find professional help?
Dealing with mental health stigma can be a harsh experience. Professionals at MindShift Psychological Services help you cope with stigma and let go of the fear. They help you manage your psychological issues and make communication more comfortable with the help of various in-depth therapy sessions, including:
Figure out your feelings, thoughts, and fears with Individual Therapy. It is a form of talk therapy similar to sharing with a friend. This therapy helps you maintain positive and healthy thoughts by letting go of the fears and insecurities.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
CBT or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is an advanced and practical approach to solving issues. It helps you identify life problems, understand the behavior of other people, and help manage your emotions. This therapy helps people identify and deal with their negative thinking and emotions. Additionally, it teaches techniques for relaxation, stress management, and coping.
To deal with hopelessness and guilt related to mental health stigma, Depression Therapy can be useful. The goal of this therapy is to learn healthy coping mechanisms and gain perspective.
Group Therapy can manage social anxiety that arises from fear of mental health stigma. This therapy serves as a perfect way to communicate with several people at the same time. It is an excellent way for individuals dealing with the fear of mental health stigma to develop communication skills and socialization skills. Also, you don’t feel the pain alone and meet people having the same journey.