End Mental Health Stigma: Get the Help You Need

End Mental Health Stigma: Get the Help You Need
  • Opening Intro -

    Health is important to a happy, productive life.

    Feeling under the weather? Take some medication.

    Experiencing symptoms? See a doctor.

    Sustain an injury? Head for the hospital.


Most people have no problem doing any of these things or sharing the experience with others. Feeling anxious, over stressed or depressed? Keep it to yourself. Wrong. For far too long, there has been a stigma attached to mental health.

It prevents people from getting the help they need. It’s way beyond time to stop demonizing those with mental health problems and accepting diagnosis and treatment as a normal part of caring for oneself.

You Are Not Alone

No one is ashamed of getting the common cold because everyone catches a cold now and then. Mental health should be no different. In the U.S in 2019, more than 51 million adults experienced mental illness. That is one out of every five.

Of those, about 13 million experienced serious mental illness. So, mental health issues are not only not rare, they are common. There is no reason to feel ashamed about being a typical human being suffering from a common human illness.


With multiple types, depression is the most common mental disorder, afflicting about 18 million American adults each year. It’s a serious illness that can lead to suicide, the tenth leading cause of death in the U.S.

There are milder forms of depression such as dysthymia that are debilitating and make it difficult to lead a happy and healthy life.

Help is widely available and with today’s technology, you can get online therapy. There are also medications that can help you manage depression.


Effective treatment for mental disorders, therapy can be administered by a psychiatrist, psychologist or social worker. Appointments have traditionally been face-to-face, but online therapy is gaining wide acceptance.

There is also group therapy which some patients find helpful. Hearing the stories of others creates unity and patients can learn from each other. There are several approaches that can be used.

Therapy seeks to modify behavior, help the patient overcome anxiety and fears and manage the disorder. It generally takes a fair amount of time for significant results, months, or even years in some cases.


As mental disorders are often caused by faulty brain chemistry, medication has been developed to correct that chemistry. It has proven effective for many patients.

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For treating depression, serotonin selective reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) were a major breakthrough. Serotonin is an essential brain hormone that affects mood. SSRIs prevent serotonin from being moved from the brain to other parts of the body.

There are also drugs for bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and other mental health problems. Knowing that their problems may be due to brain chemistry, patients tend to feel less of a stigma as their disorder is outside their control. Just as a diabetic takes mediation, so too does a person suffering with depression.

Mental illness is common and debilitating. There is no reason to be ashamed of suffering from a mental disorder. Help is available. Seek it out and live your best life.

Image Credit: end mental health stigma by twenty20.com

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Categories: Student Health