Living with a mental health condition is difficult. Depression can make day-to-day activities, such as getting out of bed, a struggle. And to make matters worse, people often do not seek mental healthcare due to stigma.
In this article, we’ll talk about the stigma that surrounds mental health conditions. By the end, you’ll be able to tackle some of the myths that prevent people from seeking mental healthcare.
Misrepresentations of Mental Health
Depression and anxiety are common, but they are not accurately portrayed in the media. We’re surrounded by stories that paint people with depression and anxiety as unstable. However, this is far from the norm. It’s likely that someone you know has had depression — 1 in 5 Americans have a mental health condition every year.
These misrepresentations matter. For example, people with depression are concerned about discrimination in the workplace — 67% of people expect consequences at work if they disclose their condition.
This also has a heavy impact on minorities. Asian, African, and Latino Americans are significantly less likely to seek mental health services compared to other Americans.
That’s why we need to recognize the fact that people with mental health conditions are not crazy. Many are able to overcome depression and anxiety, and live healthy lifestyles.
Depression and Anxiety Can Be Beaten
One common misconception is that there are no effective treatments for mental health conditions. However, clinical trials have proven that therapy and medications work. Combining both is especially effective for treating patients with more severe depression and anxiety.
This isn’t a surprise to people who have worked with professionals. Patients work with providers to build the skills they need to create meaningful changes in their life. As a result, they’re able to overcome their conditions.
Treatments Empower Patients
People often want to work on their mental health, but feel like they shouldn’t rely on professionals to improve their mental health.
But the truth is that patients are always in control throughout their treatment, no matter which type they choose. Psychiatrists always put their patients preferences first, so it’s not surprising that patients view their providers positively.
Moreover, psychiatry is less about clinicians treating patients, and more about patients being proactive about their mental health.
For example, one misconception is that depressed patients always become dependent on their medications. However, at Prairie, our psychiatrists understand that medication is just another way to support patients as they take charge of their mental health. Medications help patients manage their depression in the short term, but ultimately, patients learn to maintain their mental health on their own to prevent relapses in the long term.
Let’s Speak Out Against Stigma
The stigma that surrounds mental health is complex, and comes from a variety of different sources. Sometimes it can be subtle, like the depictions of mental health in the media. Other times, it can be overt, like the idea that depression isn’t an actual disorder, even though there is plenty of evidence that proves otherwise.
Many people do not seek care from professionals because of stigma. But we can change that by speaking out and tackling misconceptions as often as we can.
Considering mental healthcare? Talk to a mental health professional to see if Prairie Health could help you on your journey.