So, growing up in a world where everyone accepts this myth and shares these misconceptions, what would your reaction be if someone were to tell you that you suffer from mental illness? If you have an ounce of dignity, it would be, “No, not me. I’m nothing like that.” And, of course, you would be right. No-one is like that. But it may take you a lot of time and effort to get past the stereotype, see the illness for what it is, an illness, and see yourself again for the responsible and capable person you are.
In fact, the people who accept a diagnosis of mental illness tend to be those who have low self-esteem. Those who feel really good about themselves reject the label and, oftentimes, treatment. But the people who accept the label of mental illness take on a burden. They are likely to see themselves as incapable and worthless. Out of a sense of shame they may withdraw socially from their friends. They may give up on their career, academic or marriage plans and, seeing themselves as hopeless cases, they may become dependent on their treatment providers and others in their lives.
Consequently, the person with “insight” into his illness may do less well than expected while those who reject the label of mental illness are more likely to hold on to their ambitions and try to forge ahead with their lives.