You may be familiar with the hashtag #endthestigma on social media, used in conjunction with posts about our mental health. Opening up discussions about mental health can reduce the stigma and lead to better understandings of what the issues may be, but why is there such a stigma in the first place?
3 things we can do to help future generations
1. Remember, your mental health is a disability with the power of invisibility
Off the back of the first point, physical and mental illnesses can both relapse! So why on earth are we more afraid of admitting that depression has reared its ugly head again than we are of a chest infection coming back?
I recently went back to my GP to have a chat about my mental health, and he very helpfully explained to me that I must not see medication as a failure, having tried to manage for so long without it. I wouldn’t try to treat a kidney infection without medication so I shouldn’t have to try and treat my depression or anxiety without medication either!
The sooner people understand that physical and mental illnesses are the same, and should be treated in the same way, the better!
3. Don’t let society tell us who to be
Society generally often has an opinion of who we should be or when we should be happy… Well, for starters, you can be both depressed and happy – it is possible! But that aside, societal attitudes have a lot to do with why there is a stigma in the first place.
Emphasising certain attributes on young boys that they have to be tough and cannot show emotion is one thing which contributes to men’s suicide rates being so high! For us females, telling women that they should be happy following the birth of a baby is yet another aspect of the huge circle of guilt that plays into postpartum mental illness!
Teaching our children that they can be what they want to be and that they can share emotions from a young age can really help to alleviate the stresses they will face as adults in the same way that we are under those stresses now.
|This post was written as part of our Raising Healthy Minds Campaign|
So that is this week’s #MentalHealthMonday post! Get involved with the discussion on twitter and tweet us @mummykindoff
Let us know if there’s anything you do to raise awareness of mental illness! We would love to feature the stories of brave men and women so please get in touch!