MENTAL HEALTH STIGMA

Unfortunately, people won’t go for help with mental health issues for fear they will be labeled “crazy.”  That’s unfortunate because there are times all of us can use a bit of support.  If you had cancer, you’d go for treatment, wouldn’t you?  Then, if you’re depressed, or suffering from PTSD, or if you’re trying to deal with what you think might be a mental illness, why wouldn’t you go see a mental health specialist?  If you don’t, you’re only letting the problem continue untreated, and that label isn’t any better!

When we identify labels and hang them on ourselves, it’s the worst!  When you label yourself with a negative label, then you fear others will also begin to see you in that light.  Your shame increases and it makes it all the more difficult for you to get the treatment you need.

Fear of being labeled means you try to hide your symptoms.  Because you refuse to talk about them, they go untreated and you have no hope of healing.  Unfortunately, you may begin to feel trapped and limited by the label and that only intensifies your problems.  Actually, it’s wiser to self-refer than to let someone else refer you for treatment.

If you are struggling with PTSD, it’s so much more difficult to heal on your own.  There are some wonderful resources out there to help; some of them you can access without anyone else knowing about it.  Visit www.ptsd.vagov/apps/PTSDcoachonline for more information.

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