The stigma that people can hold isn’t a new topic by any means when discussing mental health, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that the stigma is still harmful. Though the conversation about mental health has become more open, whether it be from celebrities opening up about their experiences or the variety of apps to use as an outlet, it can still be terrifying for people to be honest about their own mental health.
In one study, 46% of adolescents felt that their parents held a stigma about their mental health, 62% felt the same with their peers, and over a third felt that their teachers held a stigma as well. The stigma felt by others based upon what they think mental health is like is known as social stigma. This can come from misinformation, a poor portrayal of mental illness in the media, or simply ignorance.
However, stigma isn’t limited to those who don’t have a mental illness and don’t understand what it’s like. Stigma can also be classified as self-stigma, or the internalized feelings people can face because of how mental health is presented and discussed by others. People may put down how they’re feeling, thinking that they’re using their mental illness as an excuse or that they’re being dramatic. They may also feel that what they’re going through makes them different, afraid that something is wrong with them that’ll change how people see them if they open up.
In an effort to help those recognize and reflect about the stigma they hold, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) has come up with a quick, three question quiz about how you view mental illness. After answering the questions and giving your demographic, the quiz tells you if you hold a stigma, you don’t, or that you may hold stigma. Whatever your answer may be, NAMI offers resources to learn more about mental illness, such as the correct answers to the quiz or ways you can offer support.
Take the quiz here.
Did you take the quiz? Did you get the results that you were expecting? In what ways do you think people can reduce their stigma on mental health?