Mental health is a critical aspect of each person’s overall well-being. In the United States, it affects one in five adults and one in 25 children. Despite its prevalence and impact on lives, mental health issues continue to be stigmatized. Say’s Dr. Charles Noplis, this has serious implications for diagnosis and treatment, which can result in increased risk of suicide and decreased quality of life.
Stigma is a major barrier to diagnosis and treatment of mental health disorders. Stigma can be defined as “a mark of disgrace associated with a particular circumstance, quality or person.” The stigma surrounding mental illness has contributed to the silence around this topic, which has resulted in many people suffering from treatable conditions going untreated.
The Stigma Surrounding Mental Health
The stigma surrounding mental health is a barrier to diagnosis and treatment. The stigma can prevent people from seeking help, and it can prevent people from getting help when they do seek it.
Mental Health and the Diagnosis of Depression
Depression is a serious medical condition that affects a person’s mood, emotions, thoughts and behavior. It can lead to problems with daily living and cause significant distress or disability.
It’s important to understand that depression is not just feeling sad. The symptoms of depression include:
- A loss of interest or pleasure in activities once enjoyed
- Changes in sleep patterns (too much or too little sleep)
- Weight changes (weight gain/loss)
If you think you might be depressed, talk with your doctor about getting help right away. Depression doesn’t always go away on its own; treatment options like medication and psychotherapy are available so you can feel better as soon as possible.”
Mental Health and the Diagnosis of Anxiety Disorders
Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illnesses in the United States, affecting nearly one-third of adults. These disorders can be debilitating and often cause people to avoid situations or activities that trigger their anxiety. As a result, many people with anxiety disorders never seek treatment because they’re afraid of being stigmatized by others.
In order for patients with an anxiety disorder to receive proper treatment, it’s important that doctors understand how these illnesses affect them so they can properly diagnose them and prescribe appropriate medications or therapy options based on a patient’s needs.
It is important to note that the stigma surrounding mental health is not limited to depression and anxiety, as it affects all types of mental illness. It can also be seen in the way doctors treat patients with these conditions and how they respond when someone comes in with symptoms that may indicate an underlying problem. While it is crucial for us as a society to work together towards eliminating stigma from our lives, it’s also essential that those who are affected by such prejudices find ways of overcoming them so they can access proper treatment and care from their healthcare providers when needed most.”