Mental Illness Unmasked

Posted on

Oct 27, 2015

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Once upon a time... mental illness was thought to be on a par with leprosy, and appropriate treatment was deemed to be relegation to a sanatorium or leper colony. While both have dispelled most folklore, myths and misconceptions, mental illness is still subtly saddled with an unwarranted and obstructive silent demon: Stigma.



Stigma erodes confidence in our knowing that mental disorders are real, treatable health conditions. We have allowed this culprit to erect attitudinal, structural and financial barriers to effective treatment and recovery. It is time to slay the dragon.



Interesting to know, one in four families is affected by mental illness. It is not the result of low intelligence, lack of character or personal weakness: Abraham Lincoln, Ernest Hemmingway, Patti Duke, Terry Bradshaw, Mike Wallace and Jane Pauley are but a handful of notable examples.



Most importantly, mental illnesses are treatable. Most people diagnosed with a serious mental illness such as depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia can experience relief from their symptoms with the proper treatment plan. The Collier County National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), 239 434-6726, among other organizations, can direct and assist in support of this process utilizing a variety of their SW Florida programs and resources.



Understanding mental illness, appreciating the cause and supporting its programs bring awareness and success and along with it, an effective weapon to remove the mask and expose mental health stigma for precisely what it is: A fairy tale.



Author:The Collier County National Alliance on Mental Illness

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