People with mental health conditions are rarely depicted in a positive light by the media and in daily conversations. At its base, inherent differentness from one extreme to another is the typical discourse on the subject, where adjectives such as “unstable”, “unreliable”, “dependent”, or “violent” can be heard flying around. Mental health conditions are framed as burdensome on those who have them, their loved ones, their work, and society in general. The emphasis will be on the lack of the person instead of that person’s successes or qualities. Although mental health crises become everybody’s problem, people in daily life typically want nothing to do with them, and mental health responders deal with emerging crises defensively and reflexively. Could there be a better approach?
Although it is doubtful that tragedies are the result of organic psychological imbalances alone, media most often emphasize it as the core issue. This reinforces the myth that violent or suicidal potentials exist in all people who have mental health conditions, which further perpetuates stigma. Positive depictions of people living with mental health conditions as entire persons, and not helpless products of their condition are needed.
Live Fully & Without Restraint
In light of what has been mentioned above, it is no surprise that people with psychological conditions feel the need to hide and limit themselves, or to avoid treatment at all costs. Oppressive systems render people with mental health conditions as incapable and limits are often self-imposed as a result of negative feedback continuously received from varying sources. That is, when limits are not imposed by outside forces, such as when the individual is institutionalized in a hospital or jail setting if treatment fails. It should be noted that these conditions do not or should not prevent a person from life’s many enjoyments such as having a family or traveling. If you have a mental health condition, you are not required to ask permission to live a normal life.
As advocates at Center for Independence, our mission is to help you tap into your inner power and foster independence.
-- Tell us what you think in the comments section --