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How BuzzFeed Is Breaking The Stigma With Mental Health Week

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buzzfeed-mental-health-weekBuzzFeed published an article titled, “Why We’re Doing Mental Health Week,” because they believe that the media plays a huge role – both good and bad – when it comes to understanding mental health issues. This is crucial because many of us go to the internet to find out what may be going on with our loved ones, or even ourselves, and what we see may either help or hurt us.

Mental Health Week

There has been a lot of shame, guilt, and seclusion for those who struggle with mental health disorders, and only within the last several years are we seeing people – including celebrities – open up about their mental health issues. This has begun the process of breaking down the wall that many have built in order to protect themselves from ridicule and judgment.

Related: 19 Celebrities Who Have Spoken Out About Their Anxiety

Another interesting fact that BuzzFeed shared in their article is that they found their most impacting pieces that have gotten the strongest responses are those videos and articles that touched upon mental health.

“Watching this video made me feel less alone in a world where I so desperately long to connect with other people,” one viewer wrote about their experience watching the BuzzFeed Violet video, “What It’s Like Being an Outsider.”

Articles and videos like these that talk about mental health begin to open the door to the conversations that we are having with ourselves, loved ones, and even society. It is enabling more of us to speak up and reach out for help or even share our experience with how we have recovered.

One of the main problems is that mental health disorders have carried the stigma that a person is either weak or emotionally damaged; that they can’t function like the rest of society and therefore are “less than” their peers. The sad part about that statement is that we would never say that about someone who is physically ill with a disease like cancer. The person who overcomes cancer is a survivor; a hero. But those who have overcome mental health disorders rarely feel comfortable talking about it with others. There is a fear of being judged based on what they have or even have not been able overcome and need help with. Most people don’t like to feel different in a way that may separate them from the rest of the world. Many of them may even turn to drugs or alcohol to cope, which only helps create another illness – the disease of addiction, which also has another stigma attached to it.

We need to stop looking at mental health like it’s a weakness, and recognize that there is nothing wrong with working to keep your mind as healthy as your body. There are millions who are struggling with some sort of mental health problem. Some have body image issues, some addictions, others depression or anxiety. Anyone can add to the list, but that does not make any of us weak. In fact, for those of us who have dealt with a mental health issue, I can assure you it’s the opposite of weak; it takes a lot of courage to go through and work through.

So, if you are struggling with any kind of mental health disorder, you are not alone! We are all in this together. We never have to travel this road alone, provided we are willing to take certain steps to speak up and get the help we deserve.

Looking for more inspiration? Click here: Stories of Hope

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