How Mental Health Affects Families





Dealing with the changes and unpredictable behavior of a loved with a mental health disorder can be stressful and may leave family members feeling stressed and anxious. Seeing and dealing with the symptoms and effects of the disorder on someone we care for is a frightening and exhausting experience and could leave us at a loss on how to handle the situation.

The lifestyle changes and adjustments needed to ensure good mental health are changes that need to be made not only by the person diagnosed with the disorder, but the need to adjust extends to those around them as well. Family life can become unsettled, unpredictable and challenging but the key to finding balance starts with understanding and acceptance.

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Mental Health Disorders And Discrimination


Mental health stigmas give rise to discrimination. Discrimination results in the unfair treatment of people with mental health disorders. It can take on many forms and these include:

  • Direct discrimination
  • Discriminating against disability
  • Indirect discrimination
  • Harassment and Victimization

Regardless of the form the discrimination takes, the result and impact are the same. They deny people access to services, employment, housing and mental health treatment due to social and cultural stigmas. In some instances, this discrimination takes on the form of harassment, violence, and victimization. As a result, people are often denied their basic human rights.


Understanding Discrimination

Let’s simplify this term and take a look at the various forms of discrimination:

Direct discrimination is when the individual with the mental disorder is differently treated. An example of this discrimination is when someone is not considered or is overlooked for a promotion due to their disorder, even if they are more qualified for the position. This is also often the case with being refused housing due to their disorder or not being accepted into communities.

Discrimination as result of your disability is when discrimination occurs as a result of an action or symptom related to the disorder. A good example of this is someone with Tourette syndrome being denied employment because of his symptoms.

Indirect Discrimination is a result of policies or practices that would exclude certain individuals. An example would be, for instance, your key job requirements do not require you to be in possession of a driver’s permit. However, management only considers individuals with a driver’s permit for a promotion.

Harassment can take on many forms. It basically comes down to an action that is unwanted or uninvited that leaves the person feeling uncomfortable such as in the case of derogatory remarks, like using the words crazy, nutcase, and the likes, to refer to someone with a mental disorder.

Victimization can arise as a result of the person with the mental disorder speaking out against discrimination. For example, a person complaining about the clerk at a grocery store for using derogatory remarks. The store manager will side with the clerk and tell the person with the disorder to shop somewhere else in the future.


Discrimination in numbers


If you have any questions as to whether discrimination against people with mental disorders really does exist or whether they are a concern that needs to be addressed, let these numbers paint you a picture:

  • In the UK alone, 70% of people with mental disorders experience discrimination. It is believed that this discrimination is worse in developing countries. [Information from The Guardian]
  • Mental and psychosocial disabilities are associated with rates of unemployment as high as 90%. [Results from WHO]
  • Unemployment rates for people with serious and persistent psychiatric disabilities (such as schizophrenia) are the highest, typically between 80-90% at any given time. [Results from Medscape]

It is also important to consider that people are denied of employment for jobs they are fully qualified to do just because they have a mental disorder. With a few simple adjustments on how people with mental disabilities are treated, without a doubt, it will positively impact on the economic status of any country.

How Stigmas and Discrimination Impacts Individuals



The effects of stigma and discrimination include:

  • The person will feel isolated, ashamed, embarrassed and hopeless.
  • Self-stigmatization and fear of being found out.
  • No access to support due to the lack of understanding by family, friends or communities.
  • Fewer opportunities for employment and adequate housing.
  • Harassment, physical or emotional abuse, and victimization.
  • People being denied access to basic human rights.



Overcoming The Challenges Of Depression



Understanding Depression

With life, comes challenges and as humans, we all face them in one form or another every day. Life with depression means, those challenges are amplified and basic daily tasks or activities require more effort to achieve. Depression, also commonly referred to as clinical depression or major depressive disorder, is one of the most common mental disorders and is the leading cause of disability and poor health worldwide.

According to estimates by the World Health Organisation, more than 300 million people worldwide are currently living with depression.

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PTSD: Just Because You Cannot See It, Makes It No Less Real



One of the biggest challenges that face PTSD  patients is the lack of empathy by communities, family and even friends. What people fail to understand or acknowledge is that not all injuries are physical but show someone that you have a broken bone and they empathize, tell them you have PTSD and they will tell you that you lack will power. One of the most common advice to PTSD patients is to tell them to “get over it and move on”. What most people fail to understand is that PTSD is not about the sufferer not letting go or not moving forward from a traumatic situation, it is that the traumatic event or memory holds onto the sufferer.

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Dealing With The Mental Disorder Diagnosis


Being Diagnosed With a Mental Disorder


Whether it is you, a loved one or friend being diagnosed with a mental disorder, it can be a scary time, especially if you do not have enough knowledge about the right help and support, It may be impossible for you to achieve your goals and life’s ambitions but it is important to understand that the diagnosis does not mean your life holds no value . It simply means that you need to readjust your lifestyle to accommodate ways in which you can achieve good mental health. It is without a doubt that you will come face to face with many challengesAlthough you need to remember that mental illnesses are manageable with time, the readjustments will not be more than a part of your everyday routine that it won’t seem out of the ordinary.



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You Are Not Alone – Introduction To World Mental Health




Being diagnosed with a mental illness or experiencing poor mental health is not as uncommon as you would imagine. Annually, every 10th of October, Mental Health Day is recognized with the overall objective of raising awareness on mental health issues around the world. According to a report issued by the World Health Organization, “One in four people in the world will be affected by mental or neurological disorders at some point in their lives. Around 450 million people currently suffer from such conditions, placing mental disorders among the leading causes of ill-health and disability worldwide.” Based on these statistics, it is safe to say that if you have been diagnosed with a mental health disorder or are experiencing symptoms related to any such disorder, you are not alone.

Mental health issues need immediate attention as it predisposes one to further problems such as all sorts of addiction, among others, and one will end up having more issues to deal with – needing help with addiction and the primary mental health issue, to begin with.
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Mental Health: Acceptance Begins With Understanding


Some people can have good physical health their entire lives, while others could be plagued with chronic illness. Those with chronic illness would make changes in order to accommodate the diagnosis but continue to live a happy life. However, they could still have episodes where their disease brings with it challenges. Mental illness is no different. Being diagnosed with a mental illness does not mean that your life holds no value, or that you will not live a good, happy life like the next person, it simply means that you need to adjust your lifestyle to accommodate your illness. The first step to dealing and taking charge of mental illness starts with maintaining good mental health.




What’s The Difference?

There is a difference between mental health and mental illness, although, despite the differences, there are also intricate ways in which the two interact. Continue reading “Mental Health: Acceptance Begins With Understanding” »