Mental Illnesses: How Do We Change Attitudes

Decent Essays
Mental illness affects people from all walks of life, yet a fierce stigma surrounds it to this day. People are viewed differently once they receive a diagnosis; they might be discriminated against, bullied, or even feared by others. I believe that the biggest contributor towards this stigma is ignorance.
The video titled “How Do We Change Attitudes,” stresses the idea that the conversation on mental illness needs to increase drastically. People are not educated on the topic. When a person does not have experience with mental illness, whether it be firsthand, through family, or by taking the time to learn about it, it can be easy to hold a negative view of people with mental illnesses. I am certain that this is, in part, due to the media’s representation of mental illness. Not only are people with mental illnesses often depicted as unpredictable and dangerous, but the mental illness becomes the person’s defining trait.
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A person is not his illness. If we speak out about the reality of mental illness more, and thoroughly teach people what can cause them and how people live with them, people will be able to form a more truthful view of mental illness. People will see that people do not bring mental illnesses upon themselves; they do not make them up. People will see that sufferers are not violent, unstable, or criminals; they are not inherently bad people just because they have an illness.
In the video titled “What Does Stigma Feel Like?” a man speaks about how, after hearing of his diagnosis, his brother disowned him and it broke his sister’s heart. This case, in particular, really spoke to me. I feel that it is a prime example of the stigma of mental illness. Instead of helping him and being sympathetic, the man’s brother disowned him. His sister felt completely overwhelmed. Both of these siblings held the view that there is something fundamentally wrong with having a mental
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