Boots WebMD Partners in Health
Return To Boots

Anxiety-panic disorders health centre

Select a topic to explore more.
Select An Article

Coping with the stigma of mental illness

Experiencing the stigma of mental illness can make it harder for a person to manage and recover from mental health conditions.

The Mental Health Foundation says nearly 9 out of 10 people with mental health problems say stigma and discrimination have affected their lives.

Families of people with mental illness can take certain steps to help cope with stigma, including:

  • Remembering that you and your loved ones have choices: you can decide who to tell about the mental illness and what to tell them
  • Remembering that you are not alone: many other people cope with similar situations. It is common for people to struggle with depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and other mental illnesses
  • Keeping hope and remembering that treatment works: safe and effective medication and psychosocial treatments are available, and newer treatments are being developed. As a result, many individuals with mental illness enjoy productive lives
  • Praising your loved one for seeking help: mental health treatment can be difficult, as people often need to be patient in trying new medication, coping with side effects, and learning new behaviours. Helping loved ones to feel good about themselves is important
  • Remaining active and surrounding yourself with supportive people: social isolation can be a negative side effect of the stigma linked to mental illness. Isolating yourself and discontinuing enjoyable activities puts you at high risk of depression and burnout. Try approaching mental health organisations to find out what local services are available in your area.
Next Article:

WebMD Medical Reference

Medically Reviewed by Dr Rob Hicks on May 19, 2016

Today in anxiety-panic disorders

Mind, body & soul newsletter

Looking after your
health and wellbeing.
Sign Up Now!

Popular slideshows & tools on BootsWebMD

How to help headache pain
rash on skin
Top eczema triggers to avoid
Causes of fatigue & how to fight it
Tips to support digestive health
woman looking at pregnancy test
Is your body ready for pregnancy?
woman sleeping
Sleep better tonight
Treating your child's cold or fever
bucket with cleaning supplies in it
Cleaning and organising tips
adult man contemplating
When illness makes it hard to eat
woman holding stomach
Understand this common condition
cold sore
What you need to know