Why Anonymity Is the Key to Breaking the Mental Health Stigma

Why Anonymity Is the Key to Breaking the Mental Health Stigma

Despite the many scientific breakthroughs that humankind has brought, there is still discrimination against those who suffer from mental illnesses. The society is still backward in its view that such a complex and powerful entity such as the human mind can suffer from an anomaly or weakness. This stigma attached to mental health is still present in many societies.

The worrying fact that these societies simply do not believe that they exist is what contributes to the stigma. Mental health specialists are trying to promote better mental health, but before this can be done, they have to acknowledge it as a problem.

Others do not just direct this stigma towards those who suffer from mental health problems, but it is also inflicted upon oneself. This is when victims themselves have perceived notions that make up a stigmatic attitude towards mental health. Social and self-directed stigmas are what lead to many cases of mental health issues remaining undiagnosed. While directed towards oneself, it can be reduced or helped with, but social stigma can never be eradicated. The only way to recover without facing it is to seek treatment anonymously.

Anonymity helps victims and sufferers feel safe from being persecuted about their condition.

Knowing that their identity will remain confidential helps them have peace of mind and reduce further anxiety about someone finding out. This allows them to be treated effectively so that their confidence increases. When they have healed, they can be the ones to wipe out social stigma by telling empowering and inspiring stories about recovery.

People that suffer from a mental health issue are more likely to seek help if they are guaranteed anonymity. Treatment programs that do not expose their patients are highly beneficial and a step towards overcoming stigma. Increasing access to support groups and hotlines helps to increase access to mental health care.

Anonymous support is a big help for adolescents and adults that suffer from a mental health issue. This is extremely helpful in creating a sense of belonging to a person that suffers from depression or anxiety. Often, they don’t seek any help or treatment because they feel like they suffer from something unusual so support group activities like telling stories can also help reduce self-stigma.

Especially in societies with a stigma against seeking treatment, those who suffer from mental health problems can experience a worsening of symptoms if they seek it overtly. This is due to the anxiety and stress they would feel about being seen by peers or family members in a psychiatric hospital. Anonymous treatment programs offer a solution to individuals to help them lead a decent quality of life.

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