Tips on Coping with Anxiety & the Stigma of Mental Illness

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Tips on Coping with Anxiety & the Stigma of Mental Illness

 
Despite all the advances we've made in understanding and accepting anxiety and other conditions of mental illness, there remains some stigma. Movies play a large part in supporting the stigma of mental illness by depicting sufferers as maniacal killers and masochists. Common expressions used in jokes and everyday language include psycho, lunatic and crazy which merely help to reinforce the stereotype.

What exactly is the stigma of mental illness?

It's a negative reaction that society adopts against a person or group of people who appear different from ourselves. Before mental illness was so well understood as it is today, people with anxiety or panic were avoided out of fear. Unfortunately, that still occurs today.

People who are unfamiliar with anxiety and panic feel uncomfortable when they are around people with these conditions because they are unsure how to respond to them. In some cases, it's not so much fear as it is disbelief that the individuals can't just stop responding as they do to events in their lives. Why can't they just "get over it" and move on?

Such attitudes have a detrimental effect on people with anxiety and panic. It can worsen the condition or make recovery far more difficult than it needs to be. It's important, therefore, to learn about these conditions. In the meantime, sufferers need help coping with anxiety and the stigma of mental illness.

Coping with anxiety and the stigma of mental illness

It's not enough for the sufferer to comprehend anxiety and the stigma of mental illness. The rest of society needs to do the same so that these conditions no longer induce fear, avoidance and disbelief.

Be selective of who you tell

One way for the families to cope with anxiety and the stigma of mental illness is to choose who you will tell about your suffering family members. You decide just how much you want those select few people to know. It's best to share only with people you know relatively well so you can modify your information accordingly.

Talk with people who understand

There are many people who are coping with anxiety and the stigma of mental illness either because of their own condition or that of someone they know or love. Often, other problems are involved, such as depression and substance abuse. Seek out such people who you can share with and learn from, as well as for moral support.

Surround yourself with supportive family members, friends and others

Maintain as many normal activities as possible will ward off the negative results of social isolation often caused by the stigma. People who close themselves off from society can suffer depression and burnout. Stay active, participate in pastimes you've always enjoyed or try new ones. An excellent way to surround yourself with people who are coping with anxiety and the stigma of mental illness is to join a local volunteer organization. Ones that focus on mental illness issues might be best for your particular situation.

Encourage the sufferer for working on recovery

There will be times when people will feel their struggle is in vain. That's where you can help by praising their efforts without patronizing them. Realize that finding the right treatment can be difficult. There will be setbacks as they break free from their condition. Show your support by helping them to feel good about themselves and their progress.

Coping with anxiety and the stigma of mental illness can be difficult and wearing on the sufferer as well as the supporters. By learning about anxiety and stigma, you can help significantly in their recovery.

Find help on our relevant Self Help Book Site Sylvia Dickens is an award-winning journalist who has struggled and overcome depression, panic and anxiety. Formerly with the Canadian Mental Health Association, she's written, "A Guide to Teenage Depression & Suicide" and "How To Build Confidence and Banish Anxiety Forever". Visit Sylvia's Anxiety Relief blog for more helpful articles. Our sister Ebook Web Site carries books on travel, music instruction, dog training, hobbies, fitness, wealth building, business and more.

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