1. There is Stigma
We as people are heavily influenced by the people around us. Although our society has made a lot of progress since the days when individuals struggling with mental illness were deemed psychotic and put into asylums, part of that mentality still lingers. Many people in our culture still see mental health struggles as a sign of weakness or something taboo that shouldn’t be talked about, which makes it’s hard not to feel the stigma. It’s there, and it makes things confusing for those who are genuinely trying to learn the facts.
2. Assumptions are Made
Many of the common diagnoses are thrown around in everyday language. I feel “triggered”, my mood is “bipolar”, I’m so “depressed”, and other phrases are not out of the norm. This makes sense because we all have emotions which seem similar to the symptoms we google for many of the well known disorders. Feeling emotions is not a mental disorder yet many self-diagnose, which can change others’ perceptions of what the disorders really are and leading them to assume what the disorder looks like.
3. Lack of Mental Health Education
Growing up, most adults did not learn about mental health as a part of their required curriculum. At most, they probably took one class on psychology. This system is changing so that more children are learning these concepts in their classrooms, but sharing this with the rest of the world is a greater challenge. There are good resources out there but in our busy world, it takes time which most adults don’t have enough of.
Tips to Understand the Right Way:
- Read articles written by professionals and individuals who have received an education in psychology and know what they are talking about.
- Meet with a therapist. You don’t have to have an issue to go see one. Just like you can see your doctor to get a physical check-up, you can do the same with a therapist. They’ll be more than happy to answer any questions that you may have.
- Watch educational videos! Maybe reading articles isn’t your thing or you’re a better auditory learner. There are many good resources out there. I’m also starting a video series called “The Easy Mental Health Series” on Youtube that you can check out too.
You can view the first one here: