Published on June 16th, 2014 | by jtucker

NAMI Part 2: Getting Rid of the Stigmas Concerning Mental Illness


In my last blog “Getting Rid of the Stigma about Mental Illness Part 1”, I briefly talked about my experience at the “National Alliance of Mental Illness: In Our Own Voice” presentation held at San Joaquin Delta College. Well in this blog I made it my personal mission to stamp out those dirty lies about mental illness with facts from the professionals. Taking care of your mental health is just as important as taking care of your physical health. What most people don’t know is that mental health is a part of your physical health. Unfortunately, because of the misconceptions about mental illness, many people are unaware of this fact and believe that all mental illness is psychological.
According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a stigma is defined as: a negative and often unfair belief that a society or groups of people have about something. This, associated with mental health, can cause many people who have mental illness to not seek treatment. One of the biggest stigmas about mental illness that seems to be common among people today is that mental illness is the result of someone’s own actions. This very common stigma was pointed out by Mental Health Clinician Dr. Bob and other mental health professionals to be an untruth and very detrimental way of thinking about mental illness. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, scientists are now finding that mental illness is “associated with changes in the brain’s structure”, and those are usually just minor chemical imbalances in the brain that can be easily treated. But unfortunately, a lot of people don’t seek treatment even though mental health treatment is easily accessible and most often free or covered by most insurance.
This is because some people still have the long disproven age old belief that mental illness=crazy. According to the Merriam- Webster Dictionary, the definition of crazy is: 2a mad, insane; radical or extremist. To give you a clearer picture of crazy, synonyms of crazy include the words; crackbrain, lunatic, loon, maniac, psycho, psychopath. If you are a spouse, friend, co-worker, family member, teacher, or student of someone who was diagnosed with a mental illness, many of you would agree that those definitions don’t describe the person you know. NAMI dovetailed what I learned from my interview with Dr. Bob and that is 1 in 4 people in the US are affected with mental illness. These include successful teachers, doctors, lawyers, parents, fireman and other great contributors to society including many healthy and well doing famous actress/actors that you would have never suspected to have a mental illness.

Now that many organizations including NAMI are taking on the stigmas against mental illness and as I helped dig up the dirt on those dirty little lies, I am going to provide you with the truth about mental illness. I will be including tips on how to cope with mental illness, treatment options and facilities and tell you some of latest advancements in diagnosing and treating mental illness in this modern age in my blog NAMI: Getting rid of the Stigma about Mental Illness Part 3.

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Juanita Tucker

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