Shame ,stigma ,beliefs, epistemology

It is a common notion or belief that psychological disorder should be ashamed of  !

The stigma attached to mental Illness means that people are hesitant to consult a Doctor or psychologist because they are ashamed of their problems and sometimes they are not aware of . Actually psychological disorder which indicates a failure in adaptation should be viewed as any other Illness

Since ages ,these disorders has  been viewed as a shame or a part of abnormal behavior. Many theories have occurred over again and again.

Till now in many areas people’s view their psychological disorders as something under the operational of super forces such as Bhoot-pret or the control of some evil spirits .Removing the evil that resides in the individual by some countermagic and through magic prayers known as Exorcism is still the prevailing practice used in some of the societies today also.

A very old theory in History of abnormal psychology which  which believes that people behave strangely because their brain 🧠 and bodies are not working properly (Biological or Organic approach) .

But now after so many research , there is an evidence that body and brain processes have been associated with to many types of maladaptive behavior which is corrected by correcting these defective biological processes which results in improved functioning.

Some school of thoughts believe that psychological problems are caused by inadequacies in the way an individual thinks, feels or the perception he or she is carrying towards the 🌎. (Psychological Approach)

Mental health stigma is still prevalent in Asia . This prevents the young people to find awareness and access to the  much needed help.  Findings show that 75% population doesn’t want to consult a therapist or they feel shy in consulting and some don’t know where to go .The stigma attached to mental health is as old as our  civilization.The World Health Report mentioned that about 450 million people suffer from mental illnesses worldwide, but only a small fraction received treatment.

Between the suffering and possible care was the barrier of stigma,

Our media ,TV shows ,news and movies most of the time put emphasis on those negative news like suicide murder, rape etc which creates a serious longterm impact on humans mind and brain. The media are extremely powerful channels of communication and messages conveyed through them has a significant impact on its audience. Unfortunately, the media have had a tendency to sensationalise and negatively portray mental illness (Schneider, 1987; Miller, 2007) . A general observation suggests that even in India news channels and newspapers highlight negative news stories relevant to mental health such as suicide, violence and inappropriate behaviour. However, several movies in recent times have caught the eye of the public for their positive portrayal of mental illness based on factual information. What was more encouraging is that different movies were released in different languages and were appreciated by the respective audiences. For example, ‘Sharapanjara’ (A Kannada film about a woman who develops post partum psychosis), ‘15 Park Avenue ’ (a Hindi film which portrays a woman with schizophrenia), ‘My name is Khan’ (a Hindi film portraying an autistic individual), ‘Barfi’ (a Hindi film portraying an autistic girl) , ‘A Beautiful Mind’, a true story of a mathematician who developed schizophrenia and later on went on to win the Nobel Prize for his contribution to Game Theory (used by economists worldwide). Many such success stories are unfortunately untold and need to be highlighted. These untold stories can also feature as news stories in newspapers.

A targeted approach can have a better impact as suggested by past researchers in this field. As mental health professionals we need to educate media personnel about the ill effects of sensationalism and negative portrayal of news related to mental health and the kind of impact it has on other sufferers of mental illness

Many such campaigns are run by government, NGOS and by private organizations

Mental health awareness is as important as taking care of your physical health .

And consulting a therapist is not a matter of shame . People who want to grow go to a therapist sameways as someone who learns to acquire a new skill goes to the person who is trained in the skill.

Make mental health a priority and see you will shine again ✨

Love Deepika


Rebt practitioner