Sunday, 17 June 2018

Stigmas of Autism

Ben shares his experience of the stigma surrounding Autism and suggests ways he thinks this can be prevented. 
- Ben

So, the way society is at times, sadly creates a stigma on mental health and disabilities. So many people are afraid to be open about them, whether that be depression, anxiety, autism, Asperger’s, or bipolar disorder, just to name a few. Why is this the case though? Is this an okay thing to happen? Just 2 questions which need to be answered.

Sadly, when I was first diagnosed with Autism, someone who I thought was a friend, called me numerous things, such as “Retard”, “Mental” and “Freak”. Those comments are NOT OKAY! They are simply disgusting and ignorant and it’s fair to say, I no longer have contact with that person.

The issue is, that I am not the only one who has gone through times such as those. Society allows people to think like that because of the lack of education around mental health difficulties and illnesses. Admittedly, mental health programmes looking at conditions similar to those mentioned above, are becoming more prominent. However, is a TV programme really enough to educate and inform people? Probably not.

In my opinion, topics such as these need to be taught in secondary education. By informing children about mental health, these stigmas which are constant with every generation could be reduced. If children understood the issues, when they go into adulthood they would have a better understanding of what they entail. I personally believe that as a result of this, society would become stronger, more knowledgeable and ultimately, more respectful.

Why do these stigmas exist?

These stigmas exist due to a lack of awareness, lack of education and ultimately, old fashioned views. People need to look into those 3 reasons and see how things can change. Admittedly everyone is entitled to an opinion, but there is having an opinion and being a horrible person.

Is it okay to happen? 

In short, NO! People need to change and support those who are struggling because you never know when you will need that support yourself.

Admittedly this post is rather opinionated and passionate, but I’m a passionate person and truly believe in working hard to reduce mental health difficulties and illnesses being seen as a taboo subject.

Once again, Thank you for reading.

Until next time,

Ben


I am an aspiring Primary School Teacher based in Shropshire, England. I was diagnosed with Autism in 2014 at 19 years of age and since then my journey to being a teacher started. I am a huge sports fan and a firm believer in exercise helping mental health and improving self esteem. I am passionate about everyone recognising their own individual talents.

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