The Stigma of Stereotypes

Friday 18 May 2018

With this week being Mental Health Awareness Week I put out a call on Facebook and Twitter for people to tell me about the most hurtful or untrue stereotypes/statements about mental health they've experienced.
The aim of this little project is to (hopefully) raise some awareness about how throwaway comments, poor media portrayals, and common misconceptions can actually have debilitating effects. This blog post won't change the world - I know - but it might just make people more conscious of the things they say and the words they choose. It's easy to throw around phrases like 'driving me crazy', 'I'm so depressed', and 'what a psycho' when you've never experienced mental illness yourself. But stopping to think about those people and how they might feel hearing their experiences trivialised and mocked? Apparently that's really difficult.

Personally, the stereotype about GAD that annoys and hurts me the most is that we're all overreacting and it's not real. I wish with every fibre of my being that my anxiety wasn't real. I wish I didn't start feeling dizzy, sick, and tight-chested with tingling limbs and the pressing urge to just get out of situations that are... perfectly fine. I wish I were just overreacting when taking a phone call, answering the door, or talking to a stranger is enough to give me an adrenaline rush that leaves me incapacitated for a full 24 hours after. More than that, I wish people would just think before they open their mouths.

These people were brave enough and kind enough to step forward with their stories. Some are long, some are short. All are personal and all share the same goal: stopping the stigma.

(this person also recommended this article/video that mentions similar checking behaviours and intrusive thoughts)



  1. I love how this post came together in the end. Such an important topic, especially because people don't tend to realise how things they say can get stuck in a person's head for months, if not years. Great post Charlotte!

    1. Thank you, Ashleigh! I'm really happy to have been able to do something like this, and it's made me want to try and help in ways that aren't just blog posts, too. It's just working up the courage to do so haha


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