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Stigmatising mental health issues

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Stigmatising mental healtMental health issues common with communal crises victims, says Psychologisth issues

The diagnosis of a mental illness still carries a stigma. In spite of anti-discrimination laws protecting people afflicted with any disability or illness, covert prejudice still exists. Bias is applied, often subconsciously, by all strata of society, including the workplace.
Only a few employers will favour a job applicant whose medical history includes episodes of psychiatric disorder. Where an applicant is required to deal with clients, apprehension will rise with regard to an employee whose behaviour may be unpredictable.

Discrimination will also affect those looking for the services of professionals. People may shy away from being treated by a general practitioner or a medical specialist when that person reputedly has a mental health condition. Similarly, a lawyer or accountant, no matter how competent, may not be trusted with one’s legal matters or funds if stigmatised by a psychiatric label.

Even socialisation can be affected when people start new friendships and are exploring common interests. Hearing a person you would like to befriend state candidly that they are schizophrenic may make one think twice about continuing on that particular path.

Can mental illness affect romance? When courting couples start to think of commitment to each other, if one has a mental health problem, there is more to consider than social and sexual compatibility. The phrase “in sickness and in health” may bring out noble qualities when a medical diagnosis is handed down. Coping with a partner’s psychiatric diagnosis is an entirely different matter. When making a decision about having children, fears may arise about hereditary psychiatric conditions being inherited by offspring.

Is mental illness restricted to uneducated people or people living in poverty? Some Internet sites list well-known people who did not allow the stigma of a mentally-ill diagnosis to change their destinies. Let’s look at the rich and famous, remembering that depression is also a mental disorder.
British wartime leader, Winston Churchill, was diagnosed with bi-polar disorder.

The 16th US President, Abraham Lincoln, suffered from debilitating depression which occasioned suicidal ideation. His wife, Mary Todd Lincoln, was believed to have been schizophrenic.
Another President, Theodore Roosevelt, suffered from bi-polar disorder. Scientist Isaac Newton was known for his manic depression. Manic depression is also attributed to painter Vincent Van Gogh.

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