Even in today’s advanced world, there’s still much misunderstanding and stigma surrounding mental illness. Many of us are quick to dismiss people with mental illness as inferior or less than or wonder why they can’t just snap out of it.
Many of us also rarely believe that mental illness merits the same understanding and compassion as medical illnesses such as diabetes, cancer or heart disease.
Such stigma has devastating effects. It “prevents some people from accessing support and professional help and breeds shame and secrecy, which can significantly worsen a person’s condition as well as their prognosis — even to a point of being life-threatening, in the case of suicidal ideation,” according to Joyce Marter, LCPC, a psychotherapist and owner of Urban Balance, a multi-site counseling practice in the greater Chicago area.
That’s why it’s so important to talk about the facts. Below, experts share accurate information about mental illness.