Whats more Dangerous? Mental Illness or Stigma?
Mental illness can it self be quite impairing and in some cases incapacitating, in the manner that it prohibits or prevents an individual from engaging effectively into the social and occupational spheres of life. This may happen during the active illness state or even with some residual symptoms of the illness despite adequate treatment, which can be quite challenging and also discouraging for a treating Psychiatrist.
Howsoever, most of the times what is even more discouraging for a Psychiatrist or a Therapist is the imminent, unjustified and unscientific stigma attached to the mentally ill which severely limits an individual’s participation into the society despite complete recovery from the illness. Sometimes, this stigma is even more impairing than the illness itself. Whether its finding work again, making friends or finding a life partner, everything is much more difficult. Rigid beliefs about mentally ill, critical comments, discrimination, poor support (even) from the loved ones make matters extremely difficult.
Only if, the society can provide the mentally ill with some rights, faith and respect, everyone can contribute to the society in multiple ways and lead a life full of dignity, productivity and happiness.