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! :-)

Friday, 6 August 2010

The Importance of Understanding Mental Illness

Mental illness is difficult to understand which can lead to prejudice and discrimination. Misperceptions surround mental illness and people get confused about the different mental disorders. I strongly believe, therefore, it is important to try to understand mental illness.

The importance of understanding mental illness is mainly down to the fact that this is the most effective way of battling stigma towards those who have been diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder. It is also important due to the commonality of mental illness. 1 in 4 people are diagnosed with a mental disorder, this means that you or someone you love will be affected by mental illness.

Improving your understanding of mental illness is for everyone whether you have been diagnosed with a disorder or not. Learning about mental illness benefits those that have been diagnosed because demystifying your illness may calm any fears you have about it, as well as giving you the tools to manage it. Those with friends or family that have been diagnosed with mental illnesses benefit because it helps them understand suitable ways of helping them. Improving your understanding of psychiatric disorders also helps in the battle of defeating prejudice and discrimination towards mental illness.

Obviously, it would be foolish for me to suggest you find out everything there is to know about mental illnesses, even experts are nowhere near that point. However, a bit of knowledge and compassion can go a long way.

Essentially, understanding mental illness comes down to basic human compassion and empathisation. To understand diagnosed with a mental illness, listening to them and being there for them when they need you is probably the best thing you can do for them. This means you need to know how they are feeling and person is one of the best ways to find these things out.

Learning about specific mental disorders is also a very good idea, and it  doesn't have to be an expensive process either. There are several trusted resources and sources of information on the Internet (see the Links in my sidebar), or, alternatively, you could take trip to your local library.

Expanding on your understanding of mental illness will improve your relationships with other people. If you learn more about your illness and how to handle it, you will find your self-esteem will improve and you will be able to communicate your needs better. Learning about others' illnesses will help you be their for an ill friend or relative when they need you.

So, as you can see, in my opinion there are many reasons for improving your understanding of mental illness, whether you have been diagnosed with one or not. genuinely do believe that removing yourself from ignorance can help make the world a better place.

I would love to know how you think improving your understanding mental illness can help individuals and society.

3 comments:

  1. Actually your mental state directly affects your body. One of the examples is stress can lead to hypertension or stomach ulcers. People who are mentally healthy are at a lower risk for many health complications.

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  2. Thanks for sharing. It's important for the family to know the behaviour of the person with the mental illness may change throughout recovery. Taking time to understand as much as possible about the illness, its effects and treatment can be vital for the wellbeing of our children and the ongoing stability of our family. www.psychology.ws | Psychologist NJ

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