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Stigma is broadly defined as a collection of adverse and unfair beliefs. The stigma around mental health most often leads to the inaccurate and hurtful objectification of people as dangerous and incompetent. Both the shame and isolation associated with stigma prevent people from seeking the help necessary to live healthy and full lives. Let's help end the stigma that is attatched to mental health issues.
Please visit the website, learn more, get involved and read stories of other people with mental illness and please sign the pledge to help end the stigma.
Some forms of mental illness and disorders are listed below. Some are caused by child abuse, domestic violence and others are illnesses that occur in a person at any time of their lives and are not caused by abuse of any kind:
Restless legs syndrome
A mental illness is a disease that causes mild to severe disturbances in
thinking, perception and behavior. If these disturbances significantly
impair a person's ability to cope with life's ordinary demands and
routines, then he or she should immediately seek proper treatment with a
mental health professional. With the proper care and treatment, a person
can recover and resume normal every day activities.
There should be no shame in asking for help, the
shame is when we need help and cannot ask for it for fear of
social outcast and abandonment.
Our entire being depends solely upon our minds. If it weren't for
our mind to send signals to our body when we are exposed to
extremely hot temperatures for instance, then we could virtually
disintegrate into ashes. And how could we walk, talk, eat and
breathe if this magnificent brain failed to send the correct
But, indeed this same mind does have the capability to send wrong
information if it is not feeling well, therefore at these times it
cannot operate properly. Our bodies suffer at times with stomach ulcers,
heart disease, headaches, neck and shoulder pains, partly due to the
poor condition of our mental health when our minds are stressed out or
"Poor mental health" is the phrase that I choose to use because
that is exactly where some of our average physical
discomforts originate from. In fact we all have bouts of poor
mental health during times of grief like losing a loved one, which
sometimes results in poor physical health due to the stress that we are
under. An argument with someone we deeply care about might cause us
to become sad, lose our appetite, experience a heavy beating in our
chest or cause us to have headaches and other physical pains. Think
of it as a "mental viral domino effect".
An example of how this domino effect is triggered is negative
intake such as an employment rejection. This may be the third
application that you've submitted, only to be rejected again. The
bills are piling up while the funds are dwindling down. You're
facing foreclosure on your home soon and you see no light at the
end of the tunnel and chances are good that you have already fallen
into a deep depression.
This may cause fatigue, a loss of appetite and sleeping too much.
Your nerves are on edge and every noise that your children make
infuriates you, causing you lose your cool more quickly than you
Your body has already begun to suffer with lack of exercise, the
wrong diet and different sleeping patterns and as a result of the
body feeling weaker and your deepening even further, making your
body even more ill as well.
This cycle can go on and on until you think you can't handle
anymore. But, suddenly the phone rings and upon answering, you hear the
voice of that forth employer with instructions of when to come to
In a matter of minutes your body begins to rejuvenate with
adrenaline rushing through your veins, pumping energy that you
did not even have ten minutes ago. You're suddenly famished and as
you slide out of your grunges and prepare to go out on the town to
celebrate, the kids are even welcomed into the room to cheer for your
success. What happened? You did nothing physically different but you
feel so much better!
Ah, it was your mind that got the healing power! We all experience
poor mental health at different times of our lives so remember that you
have nothing to be ashamed of when your mind needs a healthy dose of
TLC. The shame is that we suffer alone in silence with major mental
discomfort because of the stigma that has been placed on mental issues
by our society.
Why would we brand such a marvelous, important part of our body as taboo
when it is ill, when we should really be nurturing this
troubled mind back to health? But have no fear, there is help
available for those who are suffering with confusion, and other
mental discomforts and feel that there is no way out of a life in
There are ways of dealing, even when we feel at a loss. Exercise is a
very good way to help ease the mental pain, along with plenty of
exposure to light, aroma-therapy and adjusting your surroundings. I
believe that these are the first steps that should be taken when we
start to feel down and depressed.
However, at other times our mental health is so ill that we may need
professional help. We sometimes live with issues that are deeply
implanted in our subconscious that we simply cannot get in contact with
by ourselves. The mental health field is designed to explore the mind
and help us determine what issues we may be dealing with that cause us
to feel so poorly.
A psychotherapist's job is to be our sounding board where we can voice
our concerns and unload the secrets that we have had bottled up inside for
years, and because our mind may even be reacting to physical issues as
well. This is where our medical physician comes into play.
Remember that our physical body and our mind are united and when
one or the other is suffering (whether that is physical, mental or
emotional) then it will inevitably affect the other. The stigma that is
attached to mental illnesses has branded the professional, psychological
community almost as weird scientists but that simply is not the
Please do not wait too long if your own remedies fail to work. Our
doctors are trained to help us talk out our problems; and let's face it,
we all feel better when we get something off our chest and in therapy
that's exactly what we do. Do not feel ashamed or embarrassed to mention
your mental discomfort even to your regular physician, just as you
would any physical complaints because your state of mind could very well
be the cause of your physical illness or at least it could be the root
of the problem.
Remember, if we lose our right hand our mind can train our left to
function quite well. But, if we lose our mind then both hands become