This past week was mental illness awareness day. Not only does America have a mental awareness day, but also in May is the mental awareness month as well as World Mental Health day.
While I understand the importance of sharing awareness of mental illnesses, has society caused people to stereotype those with mental illnesses?
Does this cause those with mental illnesses to feel shameful of something that they cannot control?
It was found that those who had mental illnesses were shamed by their peers which caused the friendship to end and rejection from others.
As a society, we see those with mental illnesses as incapaable to accomplish as much as we can. This is because because we think their mental illness prevents them from it.
Social media has portrayed people with mental illnesses as a dangerous person for you or your family members to be around.
A person who behaves like a child, or that a person has caused the mental illness themselves.
We need to understand that not every person has the same characteristics as another and each person is their own individual, just as we are.
We must break out of the normal idea that someone with a mental health disorder is a psychopath killer, because those with mental health disorders suffer all types of different things.
I have a sister who has autism spectrum disorder.
Many people assume that because my sister has autism, she is nonverbal, she cannot understand other people’s emotions as well as her own and she is not intellectual.
However, each person that has autism spectrum disorder has different symptoms, so not every person is alike.
My sister could not speak well until this past year. She loves receiving hugs and cries whenever someone else is crying.
And, she is very good at certain activities and needs help in others.
This is just an example of how easy it is to stereotype someone that has a mental disorder.
So how can we break the mental health stigma?
Do your own research on mental illnesses and how each one differs from the other, and do not make social media your way of finding out information on those with mental disorders.
When my sister was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, I researched about what autism was and how to help those with autism.
The more you know, the better attitude you will have towards those who have mental disorders.
Do not treat those with mental disorders any differently than those who don’t.
Those with mental disorders, want to be treated like a regular person does so be carefully how you act around them.
Be careful what jokes you make around those with mental disorders because you do not want to make them feel like they should be ashamed of something they cannot control.
Lastly, be supportive of in their goals and aspirations.
Let’s break the mental health stigma and treat those with mental disorders the way that they deserve.