Why Is There Stigma With Mental Illnesses?

For many years, mental illnesses were perceived in a negative light and carried a certain stigma around them. This made seeking help for mental illnesses somewhat of a secret and an uphill task. Even if someone managed to get to the right doctor and get a prognosis, they would often get no support from their family or friends. All this is changing with correct understanding and increasing awareness about the importance of seeking help for mental disorders. However, people still find it difficult to seek treatment either for themselves or a loved one in such a situation.

When it comes to addiction, the story is no different. What compounds the problem in case of any kind of substance abuse is the suffering that loved ones undergo, watching someone they love destroy their life. What is more, no one is prepared for the pain or is even aware of the many ways this habit can destroy one’s body, mind, and soul. People usually seek treatment as a last resort. Yet, in retrospect, most people who go through with treatment wish they had done it earlier.

So if you are mulling over seeking treatment for yourself or someone you love, maybe considering the answers to the following questions would help you make the final call:

  • Is the problem getting better with time, without intervention?
  • Is the affected person unable to achieve their full potential because of the problem?
  • Has the problem led to relationship issues, loss of reputation, and financial trouble?
  • Could the problem lead to injury or sudden death?
  • Is the associated stigma preventing the person from seeking help?

Whether it be substance abuse and related disorders or co-occurring conditions, mental disorders, and/or behavioral problems, help is available. With proper treatment, people struggling with problems such as depression, anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress disorders (PTSD), schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, suicidal ideation, and other conditions can find relief from distress and lead a fruitful life. A good treatment program not only breaks the cycle of substance abuse and resolves underlying problems but also provides support to families resulting in a successful long-term recovery.

When it comes to addiction or a severe mental illness, many factors prevent people from seeking timely help. One of the biggest inhibitors is the financial cost involved. Another reason is the amount of time one needs to commit to recovery. Added to this, a lack of proper awareness results in people being scared of the withdrawal process. Some even fear the stigma attached to recovery and are apprehensive of others finding out that they went into treatment. However, all this only leads to delay in seeking the much-needed help, resulting in the problem destroying the life of the affected individual and of those around them. Meanwhile, the person could hit rock bottom, become suicidal, land in jail, or suffer other unfortunate consequences.

But this does not have to be the case. Take charge of your life and that of your loved one by choosing hope and positive change with the help of a skilled and compassionate team of professionals that can be a catalyst of change for you and your family to make a fresh start.