Despite all appearances to the contrary, the world is still somewhat old fashioned. An excellent example of a continuation of long-held views is no more apparent than with the general perception of mental health problems.
It is understandable that, in years gone by, there was a general distrust for those who did not appear to be as mentally healthy as one could hope. Yet as time has passed, we as a species have been able to learn more and more about mental health issues. We should know by now that not everyone who has a mental health problem is crazy – or, a favorite of the down market media, “schizo”. Mental health is varied and layered – and what is “normal” anyway?
Just because an individual is diagnosed as suffering from a mental illness does not mean they are not “normal”. All it means, in the basest of ways, is that part of their brain malfunctions. This does not mean they are going to start wielding a knife or break down crying. The vast majority of those who suffer with mental health issues carry on exactly as normal, hiding their condition – which, in turn, can worsen it. There is still a terrible stigma toward mental health problems across the globe.
Many people fear those with mental health – by default, regardless of their condition – do so out of ignorance. It is important to remember that, across the span of your life, you will meet hundreds of people with clinical diagnosed mental health problems – and you will have no idea. A few select cases of those suffering from extreme forms of mental illnesses have lead to a general, and incorrect, assumption of perceived danger. Until the stigma fades, mental health will still be a dark area, where sufferers’ feel they cannot be honest about how they are feeling.