Mental health stigma, why does it still exist?


It’s 1am and I have become so utterly annoyed / angry and irritated by the lack of mental health resources there is, and by how much it’s stigmatised.

For me personally, it’s wrong and upsetting that there are still people out there who are scared to talk about their mental health issues because they’re scared of being judged, or scared about everyone labelling them as something they’re not.

After struggling with bad anxiety for a couple of years now, it took me a lot to come out and tell everyone around me what I was experiencing. I was physically scared about them jumping to conclusions and not believing how severe my mental state was, and to some point is.

When it comes to anxiety in general, my favourite ones to be told are “you’re being stupid,” “just stop thinking about it,” “you’ll stop worrying about it tomorrow.” Mate, I’ve been worrying about my friends hating me and not wanting me anymore for over a year now… I don’t think it’ll pass by tomorrow somehow. And as for just forgetting about it, well, that really speaks volumes. Have you ever thought in that small minded brain of yours that maybe, just maybe, I’ve tried that about a thousand times and it hasn’t worked? Thanks for the advice though.

There are still people nowadays that see people with mental illnesses as complete loonitics who are “psycho” and should be in a mental asylum. Thanks for that. Want to know the reality of it all? The fact that, believe it or not, we’re not all depressed all the time, and we do have things in our life that makes us so happy. Ironic to you maybe?

For the record, I apologise for the amount of sarcasm in this post, but you know, it has to be done.

Okay so it’s 2016. People are becoming more aware of mental illness issues. People are now covering it more on social media. People are now helping to decrease the stigma. But with that, comes some people who think having “anxiety” or “depression” is cute. You know them pictures that totally romanticise what it’s like having an anxiety attack? The one where a model is lying on a nicely made bed with mascara running down their cheeks? Like this one for example.


Gosh I wish my hair, face and nails looked that good mid anxiety attack.

The reality of it all is being keeled over the toilet because you physically feel like you’re going to throw up. Or being so drained you can’t move, and feeling so ill you can’t manage more than 1 meal a day. It’s me having to force myself to go to lesson in college even though I’d been having a panic attack 10 minutes beforehand.

Open your eyes. 1 in 4 people in the UK experience some sort of mental health encounter in their life. Think of how many millions of people that is? This is going on all around us DAILY, and we still fail to understand and educate ourselves on something so serious.

Mental illness isn’t a joke, or something for you to roll your eyes at when people try to raise the awareness- it just shows the ignorance that surrounds the topic. Or for you to not listen to what it’s like to suffer from a mental illness because “it doesn’t concern you.”

Your mind and body are so precious and it’s about time we realised that we should look after that first and foremost. We can’t ignore these issues any longer. The fact that it can take 6 months to get mental health help from the NHS for even children as young as 10 genuinely upsets me. And that’s coming from someone who thinks our NHS is a blessing and which I am thankful for. BUT more needs to be done, and we can be the ones to do just that.

If you don’t take anything else away from this post, I hope you at least recognise how important it is that we don’t stigmatise mental health issues and that we’re less judgemental of them. There’s nothing worse than crying out for help from your “friends” and being told you’re being completely stupid and you can’t just think of sad things. Can I bang my head against a wall yet? This is such a reoccurring theme.

If you suffer any type of mental illness, don’t be scared to find the help and seek it. It’s just sad that we have to “find” the help we need, rather than it being there and easily accessible. I’m sure if you had a broken leg you’d know where to go to get it fixed. A broken mind is a different story, however.

“Be the change you want to see” and I won’t stop being open about my mental illness experience until enough awareness is raised to decrease the stigma that surrounds it. ALL mental illnesses should be made aware of. That includes anxiety, depression, OCD, schizophrenia, post traumatic stress disorder, bipolar, alcohol abuse, eating disorders, insomnia, borderline personality disorder, only to name a few. ALL should be raised awareness to, not just a select few.

I’m not a psycho. I’m not going mad. Most of the time, I’m perfectly happy. But if I have a panic attack, that’s not my fault. I certainly don’t choose to have them. 

If you also need any help, there’s this amazing website called mind.org.uk. They have an A-Z of the reality of all mental illnesses and offer support for sufferers.

Love and happiness always,

xo, Becca

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