Over the past few years, mental health awareness campaigns have increased, and many celebrities have come out openly talking about their struggles with mental health problems, such as Prince Harry, and indeed these campaigns have contributed to removing the stigma surrounding mental health and encouraging those with these problems to seek help.

Despite these positives, talking too much about mental disorders can exacerbate stress. With easy access to online mental health-related content and various sources, many downsides to raising awareness have emerged.

Exacerbation of crises

Psychologists Jack Andrews and Lucy Foulkes have argued in a recent New Aids article titled "Are mental health awareness efforts increasing their problems?" that mental health awareness campaigns can be one of the reasons for exacerbating mental health crises.

They explained that some people interpret mild symptoms of distress or sadness as deep psychological crises, which in turn may actually exacerbate rather than alleviate the distress.

For example, anxiety is a normal feeling experienced by a person, if a person with mild anxiety reads about the symptoms of excessive anxiety, and begins to see himself as suffering from a serious mental illness, he is more likely to become more focused on what worries him and more avoids worrying experiences, which reinforces his thoughts and feelings of anxiety and his feeling of anxiety becomes worse, not better.

Psychological awareness is not a solution in itself, and the most important thing is to take actual steps to solve these crises (Pixels)

Transforming disorder into identity

In the midst of widespread trauma awareness campaigns, alerts are used before viewing content that may be painful, and although this is to protect survivors of trauma and psychological crises from exposure to content that provokes their painful memories, a study by the American Psychological Association concluded that these warnings can be a reason not to overcome psychological crises.

The study found that these warnings are ineffective and can harm mental health in the long term, encouraging the avoidance of negative emotions, reinforcing trauma survivors that their traumatic experiences are an essential part of their personal identity, and sending the message that traumatic experiences cause lasting psychological change.

Drawing the wrong picture

Misplaced use of mental health terminology during daily life can paint the wrong picture of these disorders.

For example, if a person is strict about their own rules, and justifies it as having OCD without referring to a psychiatrist, this can be a negative impression for others, that people with OCD are annoying people, do not respect others, and only care about applying their own regimen.

Misplaced use of mental health terminology may paint a false picture of mental disorders (Shutterstock)

Exploitation for profit

The British newspaper "The Guardian" pointed out that some pharmaceutical companies call the natural psychological phenomena that most people experience, such as sadness and tantrums, as disorders that need treatment in order to sell the drug and profit from it.


The study, published in the journal "New Ideas", stated that the spread of information about mental disorders in various websites, movies and social media has exacerbated the crisis of self-diagnosis.

It has become easier to read symptoms from any source and individuals more easily classify themselves as having a mental problem, and act accordingly, affecting their behavior and believing that they are indeed sick.

Being a person who doesn't like physical contact doesn't mean you have autism spectrum disorders, sometimes feeling upset isn't called severe depression, and having mood swings doesn't mean you have bipolar disorder.

Insufficient awareness

The positive side of mental health awareness is undeniable, but awareness is not the answer in itself, and the most important thing is to take actual steps to solve these crises, as neuroscience doctor Dean Burnett explained in his article in the British newspaper "The Guardian".

"The main problem is that the human mind is very good at perceiving things, but it's not easy for that awareness to lead to changes in behavior, and just increasing psychological awareness may make an individual feel better because they did something, but they really didn't change anything," Burnett said.

Mental health awareness is great, but it doesn't really make sense if no actual steps are taken to solve these problems.

Experts advise getting out of the spiral of negative thoughts to engage in positive steps to reduce suffering (Getty Images)


After showing the negative impact of indulging in the impact of trauma, symptoms of mental disorders, and rumination on negative thoughts, psychologist Clay Routledge advised in his article in the Washington Post to get out of the cycle of negative thoughts to engage in positive and meaningful steps to reduce suffering.

He advised participating in charitable activities, something that has been shown to be more effective in improving mental health than traditional cognitive behavioral therapy techniques, as a study published in the Journal of Positive Psychology found, and this positive effect is due to the fact that humanitarian work helps partially take your mind away from your psychological problems and work for others.

Exercise is also an excellent way to boost mental health and reduce depression, anxiety and stress, and even a simple walk in nature helps reduce rumination on negative thoughts.