top of page
  • Propa Alam

Is Mental Health a Social Taboo?

Do people take mental illnesses seriously? A mental illness is a health condition involving changes in thinking, emotions or behaviours, it could also be a combination of the three. The most common mental illness in North America is anxiety disorder. The disorder is primarily composed of panic and phobias. People who are affected by mental illnesses either manage to recover, or are capable of living with it, however seek occasional, professional help. However, until recently, the issue surrounding mental illness is that it has been depicted by the media as something to be ashamed of, proving that it is stigmatized in general.

According to a study, “internalized discrimination” is a process where people who are affected by mental illnesses raise the stereotypes about mental health issues against themselves and is directly endorsed by society. Being discriminated in general has a major impact on one’s self-esteem and overall confidence. People with mental illnesses believe that they are not valued. They are regularly discriminated, tend to feel isolated within society and are likely to meet socially separate. The Queensland Alliance for Mental Health stated that people with a mental illness are often depicted as violent and abrupt by the media. However, Mental Health UK made a good point in stating that the people who are affected by mental illness are more at risk of harming themselves than harming anyone else.

Corporations and celebrities are excellent examples of ways in which the social movement around mental illnesses are finally becoming less taboo. Bell Canada, for example, initiated a campaign assistance program known as “Bell Let’s Talk” to promote awareness on this topic and to diminish the stigmatization. The campaign allows people to share their story, experience and struggles with mental illnesses. Howie Mandel, a Canadian comedian and television host, has become Bell Let’s Talk’s main ambassador and speaks openly about dealing with OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder), which falls under the broad category of anxiety disorders. In 2009, Mandel released a funny, yet genuine autobiography entitled “Here’s the Deal: Don’t Touch Me.” In the autobiography, Mandel opened up about his personal struggle with OCD, as well as ADHD and how much of an impact these mental illnesses had on his life.

Celebrities such as Howie Mandel voicing their illness, and corporate campaigns such as Bell Let’s Talk” can be seen as progressive examples in the fight to end the social taboo of mental illness in North American society.

0 views0 comments
bottom of page