16.2 million people around the country struggle with depression: Why the Stigma?

1 May 22, 2018

Approximately 16.2 million adults around the world struggle with depression. That is a staggering 6.7% of the population! With so many affected, what’s even more surprising is that the stigma attached to depression is still a major problem.

Many people state that the reason they often don’t seek out the help they need, is for this very reason. Stigma.

9 out of 10 people also report that the stigma associated with having a condition like depression has had a negative impact on their lives. From work to relationships and everything in between, the affects can be felt in almost every way.

Stigma can also deter people from seeking treatment, which can worsen depression symptoms.  Imagine having a problem and not being able to talk to your friends or family or get the treatment and care you need. This is a serious concern for healthcare professionals and patients alike.

So for Mental Health Month, here are a few ways you can help stop the stigma.

Educate yourself. Take time to learn what you don’t understand. Read, or better yet, talk to someone about what it’s like to have depression. Education can help increase your understanding and break down negativity.

Be careful with your words. Using first person language and avoid defining people based on their mental health. It’s also important to avoid saying things like, “Be Positive” or “I know how you feel,” as these may be taken in a negative way. For a helpful guide on phrases we should stop using when it comes to depression and other mental illness, check out this article from the Huffington Post.

Support organizations that support depression awareness. Getting involved and supporting organizations like National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI) or the American Psychiatric Association can help on a larger scale. Each year, NAMI sponsors local races and other events to raise money for programs that are helping to fight stigma and get people the treatment and care they need.

NAMI is also promoting the theme of “CureStigma” throughout all of their awareness events, including Mental Health Month.

This month and every month, join the fight to raise awareness and get rid of the stigma.  Together we can help to improve and save lives.

Currently, ActivMed is seeking patients to take part in clinical studies for depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). To find out how you can participate, visit activmedresearch.com. Help us make a difference today!

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