|The Ultimate Guide to Overcoming the Stigma of Mental Illness10 Myths Debunked about Mental Illness|
|Written by: Ulliance Inc.|
|How to Overcome the Stigma of Mental IllnessMisconceptions about mental illness are pervasive. Unfortunately, these misconceptions can have serious consequences for millions of people who have a psychiatric illness. Mental health challenges, heart disease and diabetes, are ALL legitimate medical illnesses. Research shows there are genetic and biological causes for psychiatric disorders, and they can be treated effectively. Unfortunately, the lack of understanding can have serious consequences for millions of people who have a psychiatric illness.Harmful effects of stigma can include:Reluctance to seek help or treatmentLack of understanding by family, friends, co-workers or others you knowFewer opportunities for work, school or social activitiesBullying, physical violence or harassmentHealth insurance that doesn’t adequately cover your mental illness treatmentThe belief that you’ll never be able to succeed at certain challenges or that you can’t improve your situationHere are some ways you can deal with stigma:Remember you are not alone: Many people from all walks of life cope with similar situations.Get treatment. Don’t let the fear of being labeled prevent you from seeking help. Treatment can identify what is wrong and help reduce symptoms that interfere with your work and personal life.• Don’t let stigma create self-doubt and shame. Your condition is not a sign of personal weakness. Seeking psychological counseling, educating yourself about your condition and connecting with others with mental illness can help you gain self-esteem and overcome destructive self-judgment.Don’t isolate yourself. Reach out to people you trust for the compassion, support and understanding you need.Don’t equate yourself with your illness. You are not the illness. So instead of saying “I’m bipolar,” say “I have bipolardisorder.”|
|The Ultimate Guide to Overcoming the Stigma of Mental Illness10 Myths Debunked about Mental Illness2|
|How to Overcome the Stigma of Mental Illness• Join a support group. Some local and national groups, such as the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), offer local programs and Internet resources that help reduce stigma by educating people with mental illness, their families and the general public. Some state and federal agencies and programs, such as those that focus on vocational rehabilitation or the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), offer support for people with mental health conditions.• Get help at school. If you or your child has a mental illness that affects learning, find out what plans and programs might help. Discrimination against students because of a mental health condition is against the law, and educators at primary, secondary and college levels are required to accommodate students as best they can. Talk to teachers, professors or administrators about the best approach and resources. If a teacher doesn’t know about a student’s disability, it can lead to discrimination, barriers to learning and poor grades.• Speak out against stigma. Consider expressing your opinions at events, in letters to the editor or on the internet. It can help instill courage in others facing similar challenges and educate the public about mental illness.Others’ judgments almost always stem from a lack of understanding rather than information based on the facts. Learning to accept your condition and recognize what you need to do to treat it, seeking support and helping educate others can make a big difference.Did You Know?Beyond just generally being a good thing to do, giving can also be good for you. There have been a number of studies that suggest generosity and giving back could positively impact an individual’s health both mentally and physically.|
|The Ultimate Guide to Overcoming the Stigma of Mental Illness10 Myths Debunked about Mental Illness3|
|Top 10 Myths Debunked about Mental IllnessMythPsychiatric disorders are not true medical illnesses like heart disease and diabetes.Fact:Brain disorders, like heart disease and diabetes, are legitimate medical illnesses. Research shows there are genetic and biological causes for psychiatric disorders, and they can be treated effectively.MythPeople with a severe mental illness, such as schizophrenia, are usually dangerous and violent.Fact:Statistics show that the incidence of violence in people who have a brain disorder is not much higher than it is in the general population. Those suffering from a psychosis such as schizophrenia are more often frightened, confused and despairing than violent.MythMental illness is the result of bad parenting.Fact:Most experts agree that a genetic susceptibility, combined with other risk factors, leads to a psychiatric disorder. In other words, mental illnesses have a physical cause.Did You Know?On Average, 31% of employees experience substance abuse or emotional difficulties123|
|The Ultimate Guide to Overcoming the Stigma of Mental Illness10 Myths Debunked about Mental Illness4|
|Top 10 Myths Debunked about Mental IllnessMythDepression results from a personality weakness or character flaw, and people who are depressed could just snap out of it if they tried hard enough.Fact:Depression has nothing to do with being lazy or weak. It results from changes in brain chemistry or brain function, and medication and/or psychotherapy often helps people to recover.MythSchizophrenia means split personality, and there is no way to control it.Fact:Schizophrenia is often confused with multiple personality disorder. Actually, schizophrenia is a brain disorder that robs people of their ability to think clearly and logically. The estimated 2.5 million Americans with schizophrenia have symptoms ranging from social withdrawal to hallucinations and delusions. Medication has helped many of these individuals to lead fulfilling, productive lives.MythDepression is a normal part of the aging process.Fact:It is not normal for older adults to be depressed. Signs of depression in older people include a loss of interest in activities, sleep disturbances and lethargy. Depression in the elderly is often undiagnosed. It is important for seniors and their family members to recognize the problem and seek professional help.Myth: DebunkedDepression & anxiety don’t affect children or adolescents.FactIn the U.S., 1 in 5 youth aged 13-18 (21.4%) will experience some type|
of mental disorder in their life.456
|The Ultimate Guide to Overcoming the Stigma of Mental Illness10 Myths Debunked about Mental Illness5|
|Top 10 Myths Debunked about Mental IllnessMythDepression and other illnesses, such as anxiety disorders, do not affect children or adolescents. Any problems they have are just a part of growing up.Fact:Children and adolescents can develop severe mental illnesses. In the United States, 1 in 5 youth aged 13–18 (21.4%) experiences a severe mental disorder at some point during their life. Left untreated, these problems can get worse. Anyone talking about suicide should be taken very seriously.8 Myth|
If you have a mental illness, you can will it away. Being treated for a psychiatric disorder means an individual has in some way “failed” or is weak.Fact:A serious mental illness cannot be willed away. Ignoring the problem does not make it go away, either. It takes courage to seek professional help.7
|The Ultimate Guide to Overcoming the Stigma of Mental Illness10 Myths Debunked about Mental Illness6|
|Top 10 Myths Debunked about Mental IllnessMythAddiction is a lifestyle choice and shows a lack of willpower. People with a substance abuse problem are morally weak or “bad”.Fact:Addiction is a disease that generally results from changes in brain chemistry. It has nothing to do with being a “bad” person.MythElectroconvulsive therapy (ECT), formerly known as “shock treatment,” is painful and barbaric.Fact:ECT has given a new lease on life to many people who suffer from severe and debilitating depression. It is used when other treatments such as psychotherapy or medication fail or cannot be used. Patients who receive ECT are asleep and under anesthesia, so they do not feel anything.Mental illness is complex and often misunderstood. It is essential to get educated and get the fact. Talk to someone about how you are feeling and get help, so that you can achieve the emotional well-being you deserve to live your best life.910|
|The Ultimate Guide to Overcoming the Stigma of Mental Illness10 Myths Debunked about Mental Illness7|
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From minor challenges to major crises, stress is part of life. And while you can’t always control your circumstances, you can control how you respond to them.
When stress becomes overwhelming, or it’s chronic, it can take a toll on your well-being. That’s why it’s important to have effective stress relieversthat can calm your mind and your body.
Highly Effective Tips for Relieving Stress
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all option when it comes to stress relief, however. What works for one person might not work for another.
And what works for you at home might not be an option when you’re at work or in the community (dancing around your living room might be helpful but dancing in the grocery store might not be).
So it’s important to have a variety of stress relief tools at your disposal. Then, you’ll be able to pick a strategy that works best for your current circumstances.
Short-Term Stress-Relief Strategies You Can Do Anywhere
Whether you’re about to be interviewed for a job or you’re feeling overwhelmed by your child’s behavior at the playground, it’s important to have some stress reduction tools that can lower your stress right now.
The best short-term strategies:
- Can be performed anywhere
- Take very little practice to master
- Are free
- Provide immediate relief
Try Guided Imagery
Guided imagery is like taking a short vacation in your mind.1 It can involve imaging yourself being in your “happy place”—maybe picturing yourself sitting on a beach, listening to the waves, smelling the ocean, and feeling the warm sand underneath you.
Guided imagery can be done with a recording where you listen to someone walk you through a peaceful scene. Or, once you know how to do it yourself, you can practice guided imagery on your own.
Simply close your eyes for a minute and walk yourself through a peaceful scene. Think about all the sensory experiences you’d engage in and allow yourself to feel as though you’re really there. After a few minutes, open your eyes and return to the present moment.
Meditation brings short-term stress relief as well as lasting stress management benefits. There are many different forms of meditation to try–each one is unique and brings its own appeal.2
You might develop a mantra that you repeat in your mind as you take slow deep breaths. Or, you might take a few minutes to practice mindfulness, which involves being in the moment. Simply pay attention to what you see, hear, taste, touch, and smell.
When you’re focused on the here-and-now, you won’t be able to ruminate about something that already happened and you can’t worry about something in the future. Meditation and mindfulness take practice, but it can make a big difference in your overall stress level.
Practice Progressive Muscle Relaxation
Progressive muscle relaxation involves relaxing all the muscles in your body, group by group.3 To practice, you can start with a few deep breaths.
Then, practice tightening and relaxing each muscle group, starting with your forehead and moving down to your toes.
With practice, you’ll learn to recognize tension and tightness in your muscles and you’ll be able to relax more easily. Each time you practice, however, you should experience a feeling of relaxation sweeping through your body.
Focus on Breathing
Just focusing on your breath or changing the way you breathe can make a big difference to your overall stress level. Breathing techniques can calm your body and your brain in just a few minutes.4
The best news is, no one around you will even know you’re doing them. So whether you’re in a stressful meeting or you’re sitting in a crowded theater, breathing exercises could be key to reducing your stress.5
While there are many different breathing exercises, like karate breathing, a few simple ones include:
- Breathe in through your nose and watch your belly fill with air. Count slowly to three as you inhale. Hold for one second and then slowly breathe out through your nose as you count to three again.
- Breathe in through your nose and imagine that you’re inhaling peaceful, calm air. Imagine that air spreading throughout your body. As you exhale, imagine that you’re breathing out stress and tension.
Take a Walk
Exercise is a fantastic stress reliever that can work in minutes. Taking a walk allows you to enjoy a change of scenery, which can get you into a different frame of mind, and brings the benefits of exercise as well.
So whether you just need to take a stroll around the office to get a break from a frustrating task or you decide to go for a long walk in the park after work, walking is a simple but effective way to rejuvenate your mind and body.6
Fast-Acting Stress-Relief Strategies That Work Well at Home
In the privacy of your own home, there are many stress relief strategies that can help you relax fast. So whether you’ve had a tough day at work or you’re stressed about how much you have to do, these strategies can give you some immediate relief from your stress.
Get a Hug From a Loved One
Physical touch can do a lot to relieve your stress. Hugging a loved one can be especially beneficial.
When you hug someone, oxytocin (also known as the “cuddle hormone”) is released. Oxytocin is associated with higher levels of happiness and lower levels of stress.
Oxytocin also causes a reduction in blood pressure.7 It reduces the stress hormone norepinephrine and can produce a sense of relaxation.
So don’t be afraid to ask a loved one for a hug if you need it. It’s good for both of you and it can be one of the simplest forms of stress relief available.
Aromatherapy has real benefits for stress relief—it can help you to feel energized, more relaxed, or more present in the moment.
Emerging research suggests certain scents can alter brain wave activity and decrease stress hormones in the body.8
So whether you enjoy candles, diffusers, or body products, consider incorporating some aromatherapy into your day.
Getting in touch with your creative side may have been easy for you during childhood, but if you’ve lost touch with your penchant for artwork, it’s not too late to pick it up again.
If you aren’t into drawing or painting, consider coloring in a coloring book. Adult coloring books have risen in popularity and for good reason—coloring can be a great stress reliever.9
Research consistently shows that coloring can have a meditative effect. One study found that anxiety levels decline in people who were coloring complex geometric patterns, making it a perfect outlet for stress reduction.
Long-Term Stress-Relief Strategies for Lasting Health
Certain habits can promote resilience to stress, as well as increase overall wellness. For example, those who exercise or meditate regularly tend to become less stressed in the face of a difficult challenge.10
So it’s important to create a lifestyle that will help you ward off stress and deal with challenges in a healthy way.
Eat a Balanced Diet
A poor diet can bring greater reactivity toward stress.11 Emotional eatingand reaching for high-fat, high-sugar foods can provide a temporary sense of relief that adds to your long-term stress.
Refined carbs, like cookies and potato chips, can cause a spike in blood sugar. When your blood sugar crashes, you might experience more stress and anxiety.
Consuming a healthy diet can help you combat stress over the long haul. Foods like eggs, avocado, and walnuts support mood regulation and energy balance.
Make Time for Leisure Activities
Leisure activities can be a wonderful way to relieve stress.12 Yet, many people feel as though their lives are too busy for hobbies, games, or extra fun.
But building time for leisure into your schedule could be key to helping you feel your best. And when you feel better, you’ll perform better, which means leisure time may make your work time more efficient.
Whether you find joy in caring for a garden or you like making quilts, hobbies and leisure are key to living your best life.
Develop a Positive Self-Talk Habit
The way you talk to yourself matters. Harsh self-criticism, self-doubt, and catastrophic predictions aren’t helpful. If you’re constantly thinking things like, “I don’t have time for this,” and “I can’t stand this,” you’ll stress yourself out.
It’s important to learn to talk to yourself in a more realistic, compassionate manner. When you call yourself names or doubt your ability to succeed, reply with a kinder inner dialogue.
Positive self-talk can help you develop a healthier outlook. And an optimistic and compassionate conversation can help you manage your emotions and take positive action.
Yoga combines physical movement, meditation, light exercise, and controlled breathing—all of which provide excellent stress relief.13
And while you’re likely to reap immediate benefits from a single yoga session, you’re likely to receive long-term benefits if you incorporate it into your life in a consistent way.
Yoga offers a variety of physical, psychological, and spiritual benefits. To get started, you might take a class, enroll in an online program, or use an app to help you begin practicing.
Gratitude helps you recognize all the things you have to be thankful for. Whether you’re grateful for a sunny day or thankful you arrived at work safely, think about all the good things you have in life.
Gratitude also reminds you of all of the resources you have to cope with stress, which can be quite empowering.
Studies also show grateful people enjoy better mental health, lower stress, and a better quality of life.
So whether you decide to make it a habit to identify what you’re grateful for as you sit around the dinner table or you decide to write down three things you’re grateful for in a gratitude journal every day, make gratitude a regular habit.
Physical activity is key to managing stress and improving mental health.14 And the best news is, there are many different kinds of activities that can reduce your stress.
Join a gym, take a class, or exercise outside. Keep in mind that there are many different ways to get more physical activity in your day too.
Walking, strength training, kayaking, hiking, and spin class are just a few different examples of ways you can get stress relief.
Strategies That Engage in Problem-Focused Coping
Most stress relievers focus on changing your emotions. But sometimes, you won’t necessarily get relief until you change the environment.
This is referred to as problem-focused coping (as opposed to emotion-focused coping). Problem-focused coping involves taking steps to remove the stressor from your life (as opposed to changing how you feel about the stressor).
Reassess Your To-Do Lists
If you’re trying to squeeze 20 hours worth of work into 16 hours, you’re going to feel stressed. Reducing your workload could be key to helping you get through the day feeling better.
Whether that means stepping away from a committee you joined or it involves hiring someone to complete some of your household chores for you,
Honing your time management skills can allow you to minimize the stressors that you experience, and better manage the ones you can’t avoid.
When you are able to complete everything on your “to do” list without the stress of rushing or forgetting, your whole life feels easier.
Obtain Social Support
Having supportive people in your life is the key to stress management. If you lack emotional support and friendship, it’s important to get it.
That may mean reaching out to your existing network. Perhaps confiding in a family member or distant friend can help you become closer and it may give you the social support you need.
You may also need to expand your network. Join an organization, attend a support group, or get professional help if you lack supportive people in your life.
Cut out Things That Add to Your Stress
Sometimes, the best way to reduce your stress is to cut something out of your life. Get rid of the things that are adding to your stress so you can experience more peace.
Watching the news, being constantly connected to your digital devices, drinking alcohol, and consuming too much caffeine are just a few of the things that may add more stress to your life. Making some changes to your daily habits could be instrumental in helping you feel better.
A Word From Verywell
Finding the best stress relief strategies may take some experimenting. Some strategies may take practice too.
But it’s important to keep looking for the tools that will help you manage life’s inevitable ups and downs in a healthy way. Keeping stress at a manageable level is important for your overall well-being.5 Self-Care Practices for Every Area of Your LifeWas this page helpful?Article Sources
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HOW TO FEEL GOOD IN TEN MINUTES
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COVID-19 updates and resources
The Governor’s Executive Order to “Stay Home, Stay Safe” has been rescinded. However, precautions must still be made to help ensure the safety of our community. The City of Dearborn has opened the Dearborn Administrative Center to the public as of June 15 with stringent safety protocols in place. We continue to assess all events, activities and services and will report status updates. See information below.
All information is subject to change.
Archived information (selected articles as of Aug. 24, 2020)
- Recreation looks at opening additional facilities in phased approach focused on safety
- City to offer more opportunities for outdoor dining
- New payment kiosk and mobile app will increase resident convenience
- Gleaners continues to host free drive-through food distribution at the Ford Community and Performing Arts Center through end of August
- Food trucks need City license, must meet other regulations
- Public property, streets, alleys available for businesses to expand services
- Mayor O’Reilly encourages national day of Prayer and Remembrance June 1
- City conducting home inspections for sales, also inspecting construction done with permits
- Garage sale permits can be requested in Dearborn beginning June 4
- City of Dearborn playground equipment open as of June 8
- Essential services, street sweeping, taking place
- Tall grass enforcement to begin in Dearborn on May 18
- Remote access information for public city meetings
- Homecoming 2020 canceled due to Covid concerns
- Dearborn Hills, Mystic Creek golf courses reopen May 1; mandatory safety restrictions in place
- News from the Dearborn Police: Stay Home, Stay Safe, Save Lives
- State offers COVID-19 guidelines
- Dearborn police, fire chiefs share information about COVID-19 (weekly)
- Dearborn police, fire chiefs urge residents to ‘stay home, stay safe‘
- City of Dearborn playgrounds closed, parks remain open (as of March 17)
- Residents asked to refrain from non-emergency 911 calls
- Residents are reminded that ‘flushable’ wipes, facial tissue and paper towel should not be flushed
- Residents reminded not to gather with people who don’t live with them in the same household (as of March 30)
- Veterans request Memorial Day Parade cancellation, city concurring (as of April 8)
- Limited construction may continue under ‘Stay Home, Stay Safe’ order (as of April 6)
- 19th District Court Among Trial Courts to Continue to Provide Essential Services under ‘Stay Home, Stay Safe’ Order
- City plans to assist residents of senior towers with a grant from United Way for Southeast Michigan
- Mayor O’Reilly, Police Chief advocate for Rapid Testing Site now open in Dearborn (as of April 21)
- Important update regarding COVID-19 from Dearborn Police Chief Haddad; As of March 26 at 2:20 p.m
State and Federal Resources
- State of Michigan FAQs
- Michigan Department of Health & Human Services
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Congresswoman Debbie Dingell’s Website: Coronavirus resources and information
- For the latest updates on COVID-19 cases in Wayne County, including Dearborn
City of Dearborn Public Safety
- Dearborn Fire Department
- Dearborn Police Department
- Senior Services Department: 313-943-2412
- For Melas on Wheels: 734-326-5202
Featured Health Guidelines and Articles Available in Arabic and Spanish
Estos importantes recursos de salud están disponibles en español. (These important health resources are available in Spanish)
. هذه الموارد الصحيه الهامه متوفره باللغه العربيه (These important health resources are available in Arabic)
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Sharing evidence-based strategies to strengthen the parent-child relationship.
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I help children and their families develop deeper, more positive relationships at home and at school. I do this by teaching complex education, psychology, and behavior principles in simple step-by-step ways. I help fellow parents (and teachers and caregivers) create happy, well-rounded relationships.
I’ve earned graduate degrees in school psychology and worked in the field of education for over a decade. I’ve read the latest research and parenting books out there. Now, as a parent coach and school psychologist, I’ve worked with many families and their children
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Here are two FREE online resources to support people’s emotional wellbeing during this time.
- Headspace, https://www.headspace.com/mi, offers guided meditations, sleeping tools, and short exercises.
- Michigan Virtual launched Michigan Cares, https://michiganvirtual.org/sel/michigan-cares/, which provides lots of virtual lessons aimed at teaching social/emotional skills. You can make an account for free. I’ll likely be sending some of these out in the coming weeks.
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