Welcome to the blog for Free Your Mind mental health anti-stigma campaign

This is the blog for the Free Your Mind campaign which aims to battle stigma towards mental illness through the use of music, art, film, and culture.
The blog consists of informative and, hopefully, entertaining articles/posts.
Enjoy! :-)

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

"Talking About Stigma Towards Mental Illness.."

'Crazy', 'mad', 'psycho' are all words that get bandied around willy-nilly. But having a mental illness does not make you any of these things. There are a lot of myths surrounding mental illness, leading people to make ill-informed comments.

Fear of mental illness is born out of prejudice and ignorance. People fear what they cant understand, especially something they cannot physically see. An open mind is needed when dealing with mentally ill-health.

Just because someone has a mental illness, this does not necessarily make them dangerous. The dangerous sufferers are usually under some sort of intensive care. Most of us have no intentions of hurting anyone.

Schizophrenia (psychosis) is largely misunderstood. As with most disorders, psychosis differs from person-to-person. I seldom hear voices, whereas others may hear them all the time. When hearing these voices it is hard to distinguish these as internal "thoughts" and they seem external. Auditory hallucinations can be accompanied with visual hallucinations. However, and it must be stated, psychosis does not necessarily make a person dangerous.

Psychosis can also be accompanied by paranoid thoughts; such as, the person believes they are being watched, or are an experiment, or delusions that they are a spy, or have special powers. To the person suffering symptoms it can all seem very real and they my be scared. Calling someone in this state 'crazy', or, a schizo, is thoughtless and cruel.

Mental illness can be understood if we are empathetic and open-minded. Watching what we say and what words we choose to use can make a huge difference, especially as mental illness is not commonly discussed - you don't know every one's situation or background.

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