Stigma in mental illness is a complex thing. You look at the fact pages and you are left with more questions, utter disbelief and a sure conclusion that stigma and discrimination in mental health does not make one bit of sense.
This article isn’t just 100 reasons why mental health stigma makes no sense; it’s also 100 reasons why under funding to mental health makes no sense, 100 reasons why ignorance and apathy in mental health makes no sense, 100 reason why it is absurd that we haven’t defeated mental health stigma after 100 years ago of campaigning and 100 reasons why we are tired of waiting for change.
Now, let’s begin the hundred ‘makes no sense’ count down.(#1 to #35)
#1 Deep Rooted Mental Health Stigma Compounds the Pain of Millions.
#2 People routinely say that severe mental illness is the worst thing that’s happened to them. And the reason that’s so is because everything requires a huge mental effort.
#2 Untreated severe mental health conditions disrupt and devastate lives—relationships, careers and marriages.
#3 Untreated mental health conditions contribute to disability adjusted life years, and to functional and social impairment.
#4 Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide.
#5 Severe mental illness is rated in the same disability category as terminal stage cancer.
#6 Research shows that isolation and loneliness which are both causes and effects of mental illness is just as lethal as smoking 15 cigarettes a day, a consequence which society will bear.
#7 The new social climate of loneliness and the social media culture means everyone is at risk of mental health conditions and suicide.
#8 Untreated mental health conditions is among the leading cause of suicides.
#9 Averagely, 800,000 people die by suicide worldwide annually, which is roughly one death every 40 seconds.
#10 Globally, for every person who completes a suicide, 25 or more also make an attempt.
#11More young people (aged 16- 35) die by suicide than by homicide.
#12 Suicide is the second killer of the youth after accidents.
#13 Age Old Mental Health Stigma Still With Us Today
#14 Mental health stigma has been with us for millennia. In the 5th century B.C., Hippocrates was a pioneer in treating mentally ill people.
#15In 1840s, activist Dorothea Dix lobbied for better living conditions for the mentally ill.
#16 The first International Congress on Mental Health was created in the same year as the WHO in 1948.
#17 Stigma towards mental illness today is no different from stigma in medieval times. They believed it was spiritual, not an important issue and didn’t think it deserved any serious attention. We have more information today to prove otherwise.
#18 Stigma towards mental health conditions have by far out lasted that of AIDs, Ebola, transgender and homosexuality.
#19 In spite of there being several hundreds of organizations and small groups advocating mental health around the world, social stigma still makes it one of the most neglected and underfunded health conditions.
#20 Blind Mental Health Stigma Targets Beloved Personalities.
#21 Mental health conditions are a threat to the world’s best minds today.
#22 Wikipedia lists more than 400 celebrities and the world’s best minds worldwide today and gone who dealt with mental health conditions.
#23 Mental health conditions tormented and even cost the lives of some of world greatest and historic personalities and geniuses. We stigmatized against their suffering yet we claim to adore them so much.
#24 The world lost beloved actress Marilyn Monroe (36), Vincent Van Gogh (37) andVirginia Woolf’s (59) genius to mental illness and suicide.
#25 Historic heads of states who struggled with mental health conditions include Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill and Napoleon Bonaparte
#26 Without the brief spikes of self-belief that came with the state of mania, some suspect Winston Churchill wouldn’t have had the courage to inspire the Allies through World War II.
#27 Abraham Lincoln’s livelong and well documented melancholia gave him the strength to handle the crisis and civil war in his years as president. Imagine what would have become of US history if Abraham had experienced stigma and not gotten the support of his friends.
#28 Isolation caused by mental illness led Charles Darwin, Isaac Newton and Marie Curie to several major scientific breakthrough.
#29 Marie Curie won two Nobel Prizes, made several discoveries and inspired a generation of women scientist while going through the pain of depression.
#30 Along with the scientific discoveries Sir Isaac Newton left us with, he also filled pages of his journal inking his tortuous life in the grip of mental illness, suicidal ideations and isolation.
#31 Struggle with Mental health conditions gave artistic geniuses Vincent van Gogh and Michelangelo the powers to create incredible work of arts.
#32 Michelangelo’s single-minded routine due his disorder allowed him to create the legendary art works on the Sistine Chapel’s ceiling; a spectacle that mystifies us to this day.
#33 Literature’s greats Charles Dickens and Earnest Hemingway’s battles with mental illness gave them the strength to inspire generations of writers and readers.
#34 Historic musicians Ludwig van Beethoven and Amy Winehouse struggled with mental health conditions.
#35 Nightingale struggle with mental illness helped her find compassion for her patients and come up with a whole branch of healthcare.