How To Avoid Mental Health Treatment Stigma

In this technological era, we are becoming very educated and constantly expanding our knowledge in every area. We have attained a very comfortable life, and it has become more comfortable to live with happiness. Society also has made progress in breaking its old beliefs and notions.  But with that much ease, psychological problems like ADHD, depression, and anxiety has become very common in surroundings. 

Mental Health Treatment Stigma

According to NIMH, one in five adults live with some extent of psychological difficulties. Although we are now much more aware of these issues than in the previous decade, still, some people didn’t change their mindset with time and living under the cover of ancient stereotypes. Living in 2022, they are still uncomfortable with all kinds of mental health help and those who want to get rid of mental health problems.

So, if you suspect yourself of mental illness and need professional guidance for it, but worry about taking that step, we are here to guide you on how to avoid mental health treatment stigma and how you can stand against that. 

But before breaking the stigmas of mental health, you have to know about the expert’s views on mental health treatment stigma, the reasons behind it, how it affects, and the best strategies to reduce stigma in mental health treatment.  

What is Stigma 

Stigma is a negative and unfair social attitude against a person or a group of people having distinct values, different beliefs and ideas, perceived flaws, and different existences.

Basically, stigma is a common thing to found in society and nothing to worry about to a certain extent. But there are a few stigmas that are harming the present world and the mindset of people. Those stigmas have their deep roots in society, are very stubborn to alter, and are difficult to break down.

Individual groups and societies are referred to as the higher authority of society and those who are curious about others’ businesses discriminate against people or groups who prefer a unique lifestyle approach or have different physical or mental conditions.

what is the stigma in mental health

Mental health stigma refers to those situations when society individuals or groups deliver negative opinions and disapproval on finding professional guidance for psychological illnesses like ADHD, Anxiety, Depression, PTSD, and insomnia.

Where this stigma comes from

Usually, mental health stigma comes from society from a greater perspective and people nearby like friends, parents, children, co-workers, teammates, etc. This type of stigma works against people finding and trying to get help, and as a result, they find it very tough to stay and fit in society and maintain their relationship with society. These stigmas force people unable to lead a positive and comfortable life. 

Society typically misunderstands people who are seeking mental help as crazy, mad, or psycho and makes the distance from them. There is a misconception that people with mental health problems are very violent and angry. For these reasons, people fear treating their illnesses and remain suffering from their difficulties.

Types of mental health stigma

Although many active movements are fighting against mental health stigmas, according to the APA, still there is are very much work to be done to control those stigmas. 

Here, we are mentioning four types of mental health stigmas to worry about – 

1. Prejudice

Prejudice is society’s illogical and biased opinion about someone or any group without having much information about them. Any type of negative stereotype has its source of prejudice. A good example of prejudice-related stigma is blaming someone for his bad behavior, without knowing the reason behind bad behavior.

2. Discrimination 

Discrimination is the next step of prejudice, and it is very dangerous. It is a type of stigma when people act negatively and violently against a person having a mental disorder.

According to Carrigan PW’s study, the ability to differentiate public stigma and mental stigma is important for understanding the difference between discrimination and prejudice. Prejudiced people have prejudiced thoughts towards a group of people. But discrimination is when they take action against a group of people and try to harm them.

3. Stereotypes

Stereotypes are simplified and generalized beliefs or ideas about a group of people. These groups can be stereotyped for their characteristics and beliefs. 

4. Self-stigma

People with mental disorders who are living with negative stereotypes and discriminations may end up developing self-stigma. A person with self-stigma can negatively reflect on their own mental health problems, increasing the chance of getting more affected and developing low self-esteem and low self-confidence. People with self-stigma mostly increase their difficulties.

There are generally two kinds of stigmas that need correction and avoidance. We have touched one part of it, that is, social stigmas that work as environmental triggers. The other part is self-stigma, which is way more dangerous than the previous one because here you are against yourself. You can fight with outsiders to not interfere in your matters, but you cannot fight against your very own nature of criticizing your disabilities and mental illnesses. 

Effects of mental health stigma

There are several studies on mental health stigmas and their effects. One latest study has found more than half of people don’t seek help for diagnosing mental disorders. This study has found many negative effects of stigma and discrimination in people’s lives. 

Moreover, this study found that people with mental health issues are less likely to be in a long-term serious relationship, in mainstream society, and have a well work-life balance. People with mental health stigmas don’t act upon their mental health condition, and as a result, their symptoms become worse and hard to recover from.

Here we have nicely mentioned the major effects that mental health stigma left on people – 

  1. They can make negative beliefs about those things that are very repetitive to us become a part of our life. So, after facing the fear of judging continuously, people make the conclusion that they are crazy, and they are illogical, and they don’t need any type of guidance.
  1. People with mental health problems are very likely to isolate themselves from family and society. They usually do it because of the fear of being judged. As a result, these people become very rude and angry that people start to dislike them.
  1. They often start hating themselves and feel ashamed of what they are. 
  1. They face more difficulties finding employment for themselves. Furthermore, they also cannot easily participate in any kind of social activities.
  1. They found discrimination against themselves at their workplace. Typically, their colleagues, teammates, and co-workers usually misunderstand them as mad and mentally unstable. 
  1.  They make up their belief that they cannot succeed in certain challenges because they cannot change their situations. 
  1. They are more prone to face bullying, harassment, or any kind of physical violence.

Ways to overcome mental health stigma

The first very important thing to do for overcoming mental health stigma is to build awareness and education regarding mental health problems because the majority of problems come from a lack of education and awareness.

The next essential task to reduce mental health stigma and discrimination is finding reliable sources on mental health problems and disorders. Here are some ways to reduce stigma – 

1. Hurry to find treatment. Don’t let your fear of being judged interfere with your idea of seeking help. Consulting with a psychologist can point out the root cause of your problem and work on eliminating the symptoms.

2. Get out from your cover of isolation and start to interact with your family and friends. Talk to them and explain your problems without being shy because sometimes communication gaps are responsible for understanding each other’s problems.

3. Stop doubting yourself. Don’t feel ashamed of yourself. Don’t feel shy to seek counseling. You can connect with those who have mental illnesses like you to gain self-esteem.

4. You can join a mental health help and support group. There are many social groups that you can enroll in, and gradually you will find yourself much easier with your problems. You can take help from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), which offers local programs and services that help to lessen stigma by guiding people who have a mental illness, their families, and the public.

5. You can share your opinions about mental health problems and stigma, and people who are facing the same problems can find inspiration through your words.


These are the things you can do to overcome mental health treatment stigmas, and you can find your way to overcoming the fear of stigma.

Just remember one thing, you are not alone in these problems. Many people face these kinds of problems every day and remain undone. You can be an inspiration to those people by first eliminating your problems. 

Tell us what would be your first step to eliminating mental health treatment stigma?

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