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How do you view mental illness?

Breaking through the wall
Breaking through the wall
Keith A. Little

Without the stigma of mental illness being present, the truth of the matter is that what is happening to the individual is just a physical problem with receptors in the brain either misfiring, or the chemicals in the brain just happen to be out of balance.

When we look at mental illness in this light, as a physical illness, it is something that one will consider treatable. The fact is that it is treatable. Today's medication and therapy treatments are set up in such a way that someone can overcome their mental illness, just as if it were a physical disease such as diabetes. What people with a mental illness encounter that makes this problem different for them, is every person who they have talked to throughout life who claim things to be "crazy" or "insane".

We build these terms up in the minds of others as a negative thing, or as something like they show in the movies. Many movies portray mental illness with violence, obsession, dangerous, and other negative adjectives. The truth of the matter is that a person with mental illness is less likely to perform acts of violence. They are more likely to be afraid that you will hurt them than they might hurt you.

To learn more about mental health stigma, contact your local NAMI office:

To learn more about stigma and how to combat it, visit Breaking Stigma's website.