There is a horrible stigma attached to people diagnosed with mental illness. The fact is that mental illnesses are actually very common and widely misunderstood. Living with a family member who has a mental illness can be a challenge at times but there is no need to treat them any differently to how you would treat anybody else as they too are human beings, they have feelings and they are not aliens. All they want is to be loved and acceptance and not isolated or stigmatised. It is just as hard for them to accept the diagnosis as it is for you so it is really important to understand the illness your loved one is living with in order to support them properly and make a real difference in their life. A mental illness is an illness just like any other illness and the person shouldn’t be treated any differently by you to how you treated them before the diagnosis as it is difficult enough living and coping with the stigma We probably know someone living with a mental illness and don’t even realise it. The stigma attached to a mental illness is harsh and people are really quick to judge and call them names such as Looney, crazy, insane and the list goes on, in fact, the stigma is so bad that some people are too ashamed to admit they have a problem as they are afraid of getting judged harshly or ridiculed and so they keep quiet and live with a silent illness, some even land up taking their own lives as a result and we are left wondering why and how it could have been avoided. The average person usually thinks all mentally ill people are violent and unpredictable which is totally false, this is the cause of the stigma attached to a mental illness and how it gets portrayed in movies and this is how the public perceive it to be. So if you have a loved one suffering please reach out and give them a hug and all the support they need and speak out about the stigma instead of supporting the stigma they will appreciate it.