Why Do People Judge Mental Illness?
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Health and Wellness

Why Do People Judge Mental Illness?

Get yourself educated on mental illness.

Why Do People Judge Mental Illness?

Judgment and rejection with those with mental illness is a common occurrence in our society today, but why? Why are people so negatively judgmental towards people with mental illness?

The real answer is that nobody has no idea why because there can be different reasons. The reasons that will be focused on in this article is lack of understanding and because it’s not a physical illness.

According to NAMI, mental illness is a condition that impacts a person’s thinking, feeling or mood and may affect his or her ability to relate to others and function on a daily basis. Conditions of mental illness include Depression, Anxiety, Bipolar Disorder, and Schizophrenia. According to NAMI, the best way you can support a loved with mental illness is to get yourself educated on the illness as much as possible and know that you are still learning even though you maybe doing everything “right”.

Family members and friends should always remember that you can’t control someone’s mental illness. NAMI says, that we can support and encourage family members, but we can’t make decisions for them. So even if your friend or family member doesn’t want to do a certain treatment option or take a certain medication that you preferred, it’s best to let them make their own decision. NAMI says always be prepared to accept and support their decisions.

In a case like that, it’s no wonder people become frustrated. Another reason why people judge mental illness is because it doesn’t show. Unlike a physical disease like cancer for example, you can often tell when a family member or a friend has cancer, with mental illness you can’t see it. So it’s just easier to say “get over it” or “people go through worst things than you” to someone who’s depressed or going through an anxiety episode. You can’t really see if someone is bipolar or if someone has schizophrenia. According to associate editor Margarita Tartakovsky, M.S. at PsychCentral, “This inaccurate belief actually makes it difficult for people to distinguish between their identity and their illness.”

In Tartakovsky’s article on PsychCentral, “What Many People Don’t Get About Mental Illness”, Clinical Psychologist, Ryan Howes, PhD., said that this belief can “sabotage” a person’s recovery.

The bottom line is to get yourself educated on mental illness, especially if you have a friend or family member who are dealing with mental illness. Remember that you can only do so much to help a person. The “don’ts” are: don’t make assumptions, don’t be so quickly to judge, and just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean the person isn’t going through a hard time.

Here are some links that you can read more on how to help someone with mental illness.



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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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