The stigma attached to mental illness has been around for a long time, but it seems a new group of people have arisen who are actively seeking out diagnosis of a mental illness, but why?
Psychiatrist Dr Diana Chan and Dr Lester Sireling believe that increased public awareness through mediums such as the internet, radio and T.V plus an increase in the willingness of celebrity figures to discuss their own experiences with mental illness has lessoned the stigma.
This is fantastic news for those who were previously concerned about seeking help for the disorder but there are a large number of individuals diagnosing themselves with the disorder before seeking advice from a professional.
Experts believe this could be a reflection of a persons aspirations for a higher social status as often mental illness is associated with being extremely creative and intelligent.
Bipolar disorder is a mental disorder which is characterised by instability in mood, with sufferers experiencing periods of mania ‘highs’ and then periods of depressions ‘lows’.
It is a very serious mental condition which could result in lack of social functioning and could effect both home and working life. It is essential that the condition is diagnosed where valid so the sufferer can receive the help they need and it is equally important to help people understand that having ‘mood swings’ or chaotic behaviour does not necessarily mean they are suffering with the disorder.
The work has been done to increase awareness of bipolar disorder and reduce the stigma, but the challenge is now sensitively dealing with individuals who wish to be diagnosed. This can hopefully be achieved by helping the public to better understand illnesses such as schizophrenia.
More information on mental health can be found here.