GREAT BAY – Everything psychological is biological, yet the stigma against mental health remains and people say things like “It’s all in your head”, “You’re just being lazy” and “Get over it”, and some believe the body is more important than the mind, while others don’t believe in its existence at all. It is this stigma that causes those who fight a mental illness to fear revealing the fact that they struggle, hesitate to get help, and be discriminated against. But how do we put an end to the stigma?
We need to realize that mental illnesses are real and they are not just what we may think they are. Often times, when someone mentions the words “mental illness” in St. Maarten, a person’s initial thought is someone throwing rocks on the road or talking loudly to themselves.
World Health Organization (WHO) stated “mental disorders comprise a broad range of problems with different symptoms characterized by some combination of abnormal thoughts, emotions, behavior, and relationships with others”. There are different types of mental illnesses, and each one is part of a different group:
Group 1: Experience symptoms associated with ill mental health that do not meet criteria for a diagnosis or a disorder such as sleep problems, irritability and anxiety. This can affect a person’s ability to function adequately.
Group 2: Symptoms that meet diagnostic criteria by their nature, these are severe and they endure (example is depression)
Group 3: Severe mental illness such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder
Most people fall into group 1 at some point in their lives, group 2 & 3 have smaller numbers however the WHO predicted that about 10% of all persons worldwide has a mental illness.
However this doesn’t mean that a person with a mental illness is crazy or dangerous. Many people living with a mental illness do live normal lives and become very successful.
According to Glamour Magazine, on their list of “55 celebrities talking about their depression, anxiety & mental health”, “Even a megastar like Beyoncé sometimes struggles to feel ok. She said: “It was beginning to get fuzzy – I couldn’t even tell which day or which city I was at. I would sit there at ceremonies and they would give me an award and I was just thinking about the next performance. My mother was very persistent and she kept saying that I had to take care of my mental health.”
The brain is as important as every other organ in the body, and needs to be considered more in everyday life. Therefore we need to talk about it. We need to stop seeing mental illness and mental health as a taboo topic and open up about it often. Spreading awareness wherever we are and educating others is one of the best ways to help put an end to the stigma while helping those who struggle become comfortable to get help.
Source: TODAY http://today.sx/news/mental-illness-not-mean-crazy/