What Makes Mental Health Illness Taboo?

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Jan 28, 2022

Why is mental health so taboo?

Here’s the biggest conundrum about mental health: We don’t talk about it because it’s taboo. It’s taboo because we don’t talk about it. At Peer Collective, we’re passionate about turning this stigmatised subject into something we can embrace, face and empathise about together as individuals, families and communities. That’s why we’ve built a platform to make online mental health counseling even more accessible and affordable.

But why do we as a society battle so much to speak openly about the topic of mental disorders? When you consider how broad our “society” is - from culture all the way to religions - there’s no way we can pinpoint the exact reason but as humans, here’s a few possible reasons addressing the topic of mental health may still be an obstacle:

  • We find it hard to connect or reach out and sometimes, we don’t know how to even explain how we’re feeling
  • Even if we did know how to express our emotions, we don’t know where to start or who to ask
  • We are too proud, afraid of being discriminated against or having our name “tarnished” with a negative label
  • We think we don’t have the time, worry that we don’t have the means or feel we don’t have the money
  • We feel that it’s not appropriate or acceptable within the construct of our religion or cultural context
  • We’ve been influenced by how the media’s portrayal of mental health issues and use that as a lens or filter to assign meaning or worth to our own state of wellbeing

A mental health mentality: Don’t see. Don’t ask. Don’t risk.

You can’t “see” mental illness like you can see a broken leg or a scar. That makes it hard to identify or recognise in others, unless we’re told it’s there. If we are to embrace and face mental health challenges, that means digging deep and finding a willingness to be vulnerable and courageous enough to communicate it. Risk and relying on trust doesn’t often come easy to someone who’s battling with mental illness. A lot of the time it means relying on someone accepting our words, even when we don’t have anything tangible to prove that what we’re saying is very, very real.

So, given the stigma surrounding it, it’s natural to be risk averse and want to avoid unpacking and peeling off layers of emotion, grief or trauma. While avoidance may be an effective short term self-defence or protection strategy, seeking an avenue for healing or help could prove to be infinitely more beneficial to you in the long-term.

When it comes to mental health, forget taboo & choose YOU

If mental health as a subject stays taboo, it prevents us from having the awareness and access to much-needed help from our communities and empathetic peers who understand us. The Peer Collective platform is designed to help you find human connection in overcoming the limitations society has created, to embrace mental illness and all its quirks and challenges, and walk with you as peers to find your footing.

By sharing their stories, strengths and coping strategies, our community of counselors could do exactly that. Book an online session to connect with someone who’ll guide you on your journey and help you find courage in the context of their first-hand experiences.

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