The Online Stigma of Mental Health is Keeping People from Seeking Help
The majority of people today have a negative attitude towards mental health. Term’s such as “crazy” or “weird” are often used to stereotype those suffering with mental illnesses. The negative perceptions of mental illness often include the belief that mentally ill people are dangerous and unstable. People have internalized these feeling and attitudes through the online stigma of mental health. Not only is the online stigma of mental health contributing to the misconceptions people have, it is stopping individuals from seeking help. A recent article by Psych Central provided input on new research that suggest the online stigma of mental health is stopping people from obtaining information and counseling for mental illnesses.
The Power of Fear
Many people fear the idea of being diagnosis with a mental health issue. They fear the idea of seeing a counselor or therapist. But it’s not just fear that is preventing people from seeking help. It’s the online stigma of mental health that people have absorbed when their sitting at home scrolling through their phone. That stigma prevents them from even learning more information about mental health concerns or counseling.
Online Stigma Powering Self-Stigma
Psych Central states that “New research suggests that even in anonymous online settings, people with greater self-stigma are less likely to take that first step to obtain information about mental health concerns and counseling.” The study was designed to measure how participants responded when given the opportunity to learn more online about mental health concerns and university counseling services. 370 college students participated in the study, and out of those students only 8.7 percent clicked the link for mental health information and 9 percent sought counseling information.
An Important Time of our Lives
Identification of mental health issues often comes during college, a time that is commonly connected to change in young adults. 1 in 5 people struggle with mental illness, but many of those people don’t seek help. College is one of the most stress inducing, emotionally rattling, and discouraging times of our lives. Distress is like a gas pedal, but online stigma of mental health is the brake. When people don’t seek the help they need, eventually distress overpowers avoidance. Typically, by the time someone reaches a high level of distress, he or she is often struggling to function. College is one of the most important times of development and discovering self-identity for young adults, which is why it is essential that they don’t allow the online stigma of mental health to deter them from getting help.
Eliminating the online stigma of mental health is difficult. People who have developed a negative connotation to mental health are extremely set in their opinions. Many people who have mental health concerns but have absorbed the online stigma of mental health, won’t even entertain the possibility of stigma intervention. They see the intervention as a form of therapy to convince them to be more open to therapy. While mental illness is scary, avoiding it due to the online stigma of mental health is not an option. Don’t allow yourself to reach a level of distress that brings you to self-destruction. You’re not alone in this battle, and you are not an online stigma of mental health.
Seven Stars Can Help
Seven Stars is an adventure therapy program for 13 to 18-year-old teens. Our students commonly deal with issues such as depression, anxiety, ADHD, trauma, and other behavioral challenges.
Call us today at (844) 601-1167 for more information on our adventure therapy program and how we can help.