When celebrities speak, the world listens – especially young people and young adults. In the past 10 years, many celebrities have started using social media not only to share their own mental health trips, but also to help normalize mental illness. Therefore, this change is vital.
Celebrities who are open about their problems remind people that they are not alone. They spread hope and destroy stereotypes about mental health and help society recognize that people with mental illnesses are just. . . People. In addition, experts have found that advocacy for mental health awareness can make a strong, positive difference in today's world.
At this point, several well-known celebrities were using their platforms to become outspoken advocates of mental health: singer Demi Lovato shared her experiences with bipolar disorder, bulimia and addiction; Riverdale Actress Lili Reinhart is open to her challenges with anxiety and depression; Megastar Lady Gaga spoke about life with post-traumatic stress disorder and even founded the Born This Way Foundation, which offers programs and campaigns that support the well-being of young people.
Approximately one in five Americans suffers from mental illness every year, making mental illness one of the most common illnesses in the United States. Mental illness can affect a person's daily life. However, most symptoms can be treated with a combination of medication and psychotherapy. Although advances in public understanding and acceptance of mental illness have been made in recent years, many people still see people with mental illness negatively.
Some of the harmful effects of stigma may be reluctance to seek help; Lack of understanding of family, friends and co-workers; fewer educational and employment opportunities; Bullying or physical violence; and the belief that you cannot improve your situation.
When celebrities share their personal passions and struggles, they affect society's perspective on important issues, said Stephen Glatt, PhD, professor of psychiatry and behavioral science, neuroscience and physiology, and public health and preventive medicine at SUNY Upstate Medical University. This is because celebrities can have a significant psychological impact on ordinary people, he said.
"People attribute authority to popularity," said Dr. Smooth and noticed that someone who is in the public space, like a celebrity, carries that feeling of authority. He emphasized that hearing a celebrity in a similar situation makes people with mental illness feel more normal. He also explained that people with mental illness do not feel highlighted when celebrities talk about mental illness, which can often happen when family or friends try to speak to them.
These psychological effects help reduce the stigma associated with mental illness and raise awareness, said Dr. Smooth. He noted that the barrier to people being treated is often the stigma because of fear of judgment and exclusion from society. By opening the door and starting the mental health dialogue, celebrities are helping people get help faster, said Dr. Smooth.
Carol A. Kivler, MS, CSP, CMT, mental health spokeswoman, author, and patient advocate, found that the more aware people are, the less fear they are of getting help. "When you hear other people's stories of how they get better, it only stirs up your desire and belief that you can do it," said Kivler.
Pete Earley, mental health attorney and author of Crazy: A Father's Quest Through America's Madness of Mental Health, explained that celebrities who acknowledge that they have a mental disorder can help people overcome their own fear of stigma for help. "Sick people need hope, and it is always helpful when someone who is successful takes the floor and proves that" Hey, I have a mental illness and I'm fine, "said Earley. "It can be inspiring."
Celebrities who specifically use social media platforms to promote mental health also reduce the stigma, said Rebecca Wall, senior social media manager at the National Alliance on Mental Illness. "Social media makes it easier than at any other time in history to build movement and reduce stigma," said Wall, noting that social media can drive social change.
This is because social media make it easier for people to talk about their struggles, Dr. Smooth and explained that disclosing things on the Internet removes some of the fear and direct vulnerability. "People on social media are much more prone to sharing their stories of their own mental illness and struggles than face to face," he said.
Overall, many experts agree that this trend of celebrities working to normalize mental health has a positive impact on society.
"To hear someone questioned in public is saying," I don't care about the stigma, I'll say my peace anyway, in the hope that someone can relate to it and benefit from it. " a strengthening. " Said Dr. Smooth.