The Stigma of Mental Health Treatment

Mental health stigma can be separated into two different categories. The first being social stigma which is defined by people who discriminate against others who have mental health issues because of a psychiatric diagnosis they may have received. This can take place in a work environment or social situations and is a common problem because there are many people in the world suffer with mental health problems. Perceived stigma is when there is self-stigma by someone who has mental health problems and this can greatly effect the way they view themselves and their disorder. This type of stigma can also lead a person to have an immense amount of shame and cause treatment to be highly affected. (Perlick, Rosenheck, Clarkin, Sirey et al., 2001).

It is exceedingly ordinary for people to believe that those with mental disorders and things like drug addiction are unsafe or harmful to the public and many assume that things like addition are a choice. There have been studies done to prove that people feel this way and these negative assumptions are not only untrue in most cases but also inappropriate. Judgement and stigmas are insensitively placed when these are awfully real diseases that people suffer from. This research implies that a vast majority of people believe these stereotypes and the media and health professionals are no different when it comes to buying into these negative principles.

Symptoms of Mental Health Disorders

If you notice that your child is experiencing any of the following symptoms, you may want to speak with a professional in the subject of mental health about treatment options or therapy. The symptoms include:

  • Unknown weightloss
  • Changes in mood or behavior
  • Having trouble focusing or concentrating
  • Sudden or unexplainable headaches and stomachaches
  • Addiction or substance abuse

These signs and symptoms can be an indication that your child might be suffering from any of the following mental health disorders:

  • Schizophrenia, a disorder that induces psychosis and usually begins in the late teenage years.
  • Autism, a significant developmental disorder that normally develops before the age of 3 years old.
  • Mood disorders, for instance depression.
  • ADHD, which can cause reckless or erratic behaviors, impulsive actions, trouble focusing and hyperactivity.
  • Anxiety disorders, like OCD, social anxiety and PTSD.
  • Eating disorders, which can be bulimia, binge-eating or anorexia.

Statistics of Stigmas That Are Experienced by Children

It can be said that:

  • 46% of juveniles afflicted with mental disorders reported suffering from stigmas by their own family in terms of unreasonable and unjustified presumptions, mistrust, shunning and pity,
  • 62% of adolescents felt the effects of stigma from friends or classmates that most times resulted in them losing friends and social exclusion (Connolly, Geller, Marton & Kutcher (1992),
  • and 35% of children experienced stigma executed by school employees or educators, who stated apprehension, hostility, avoidance, and that they under estimated their capabilities in the classroom.

It should also be noted that this stigma is common in the medical field because many doctors and medical professionals are not properly educated on mental health conditions.

Throughout time, those with these disorders have been viewed as dangerous, strange or just different from mentally healthy people. These views have caused them to be unfairly treated or even sometimes brutalized over something that is seemingly out of their control and because these beliefs have been carried out throughout history, many are unaware that medical science and studies are now showing them to be just as viable as a physical illness or ailment. Our residential treatment at Centered Health can be just what your child needs to get a good support system and help from professionals that truly understand these mental health dysfunctions.

Mental and emotional health can be an immensely important part of growth and development and living a happy, fulfilling and successful life. This is especially crucial for children because learning how to deal with stigmas against mental disorders early on can significantly help them discover the right coping skills for them. Giving them the proper tools and support system can keep them away from harmful behaviors like substance abuse and lower the risk of making conditions such as depression and anxiety worse. When speaking to somebody who is in the mental health field, they will realize that the judgements from peers or teachers are untrue and their issues are no different than a physical aliment.