Understanding Mental Health: Stigma and Self-Esteem

We are one week away from the Bell Let’s Talk day and at Springboard we are thinking and talking a lot about the impact of stigma.

Many of our adult clients’ mental health symptoms have been exasperated by feelings of judgment and shame. And too often, we hear stories from clients who have felt labelled from an early age for their challenges with attention, emotional reactivity, focus and mood. They were identified as a “class clown,” or a quiet “daydreamer”, but in reality they were often as confused as everyone else about why they couldn’t keep up. They continuously disappointed themselves and those around them and struggled to follow through with their intentions for as long as they can remember. By the time we see them at the clinic, they are usually exhausted by it all.

Unfortunately, in many cases, by adulthood these nagging and entrenched feelings of self-doubt and external judgement have had profound impacts on self-esteem. They have left individuals feeling like “imposters”, or believing that “they will never be good enough”.

So, it is one of our goals to help clients reduce the impact of all these negative narratives as part of the healing process. The reality is that these long standing feelings are often more challenging to break through than the actual symptoms of ADHD.

It is our hope that when clients gain an opportunity to learn more about ADHD, even in adulthood, they can start to see where symptoms have impacted who they are and the decisions they have made. That they can feel hopeful and gain power over their constant restlessness inside. They can separate themselves from the symptoms they experience.

If only we could help more people be willing to get help. That if they weren’t going to be judged by those around them, then they could find the support they need and break through the challenges that they face.

And that, they themselves, could feel good about who they are inside.

Because at Springboard, we believe:

There is power in a shared voice.
There is community in telling your story.
And that by speaking up, we can work to build a dialogue of change.
We can reduce stigma.
We can make getting help okay.
Let’s make it safe for all those who struggle in silence.

#adhdawareness #bellletstalk #hopeforchange #nomorestigma #mentalhealth

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