Friday, May 27, 2011

Stigma in Mental Health....Will it go?

Stigma in mental health has always been a challenge. However, I do believe that there is certainly more acceptance and awareness in depression and anxiety more so now as it is so prevalent (in Australia at least).

In my opinion, stress, depression and anxiety, sometimes come down to number of factors and one of those important factors is your self understanding. By self understanding, I mean to "really" understand.

We all have multiple layers of our personality. One that we presents to the world, one when we are emotional, and one deep core personality when we are in our content and "natural" state. Sometimes these layers of personality which represents different core values are in conflict, and if we do not manage them well and achieve a level of mindfulness, we will be in internal conflict and get "stressed".

In life everything has its good and its bad. A piece of steel is strong and rigid but it is not flexible. If you are anxious, then you have great potential to achieve. However, if you cannot control it, then it may burn you out.

So anxiety is neither good or bad.  It can be very good or it can be very bad.  Just like fire, you can use it for good or you can use it for bad. It is your choice.  Once people can step back and truly appreciate this, then I think the stigma will diminish.

Dr Vin Tran
MBBS FRACGP Qld Australia

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