Stigma Surrounds Mental Illness | Opinion

Anyone who has firsthand insight into the health problems brought about by mental illness quickly realizes how these afflictions and the people who experience them are often misunderstood, maligned, dismissed or mistrusted. Whether your perspective is that of a professional like me, a family member of someone in pain, or someone experiencing the painful breakdown of their thoughts, feelings, and actions, you quickly realize that mental illness always carries with it an undeserved mark of disdain. The term for this is stigma.

Over the past decade or more, we have begun to think that there are finally signs that this nefarious social phenomenon is waning. You can find prime-time television commercials for psychiatric drugs or print ads in major magazines; you could hear personalities from the world of entertainment or sports talking openly about their mental health. During the pandemic, almost everyone has experienced the stress, anxiety and disruption caused by this global crisis and felt a new appreciation that mental health was indeed a vital part of health, just as real as any other. kind of disease. But, just like the COVID-19 virus, the stigma will not go away.

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