Geestesiektes: Breek die stigmas af

Mense met geestesiekes word dikwels verkeerdelik as gevaarlik beskou.

21 January 2020 | Health

Ilanza Klein, aktivis: “Baie mense glo mense met geestesiektes is gevaarlik en gewelddadig.”

Swakopmund • [email protected]

Mense moet opgevoed word oor die verskeie mites rondom geestesiekes.

Só sê me. Ilanza Klein (29), ’n aktivis wat haarself vir die bewusmaking van geestesiektes beywer.

Klein leef self met ’n persoonlikheidsversteuring en bipolêre gemoedsversteuring.

Sy is nie skaam oor haar ongesteldhede nie, hoewel sy vir die res van haar lewe behandeling daarvoor sal moet ontvang.

Klein sê: “Mense is geneig om teen diegene wat met so ’n siekte worstel, te diskrimineer. Dit gebeur bloot omdat hulle onkundig is. Mense met sulke toestande is dan ook geneig om dit weg te steek en kry dikwels nie behoorlike behandeling daarvoor nie.”

Volgens Klein is die samelewing se negatiewe houding teenoor mense met geestesiektes een van die grootste struikelblokke om te oorkom.

“Mense met geestesiekes ervaar dikwels afsondering en diskriminasie,” sê sy.

“Hulle word dikwels gesien as intellektueel gestremd. Hulle is glo gek en nie in staat om te werk of ’n vaste werk te hou nie. Sulke mense word ook verkeerdelik as gewelddadig en gevaarlik beskou. Ons moet wegbeweeg van hierdie mites af.”

Sy sê onkunde is algemeen en word dikwels as die waarheid aanvaar.



Van die mites oor geestesiektes sluit volgens Klein in dat kinders geen geestesgesondheidsprobleme ervaar nie, dat terapie en selfs hulp tydmors is, en dat geestesiektes oorerflik is.

Sy beklemtoon geestesiektes word nie deur swakhede of karakterfoute veroorsaak nie.

“Dit is nie iets waarvan jy net kan wegkom nie - selfs al probeer jy hoe hard ook al.”

Sy verduidelik waarom soveel onkunde oor mense met geestesiektes bestaan.

“Mense is nie gemaklik met die onderwerp nie. Die waarheid is mense met geestesiektes is meer geneig om hulself as ander skade aan te rig, of om hulself in ’n gevaarlike situasie te plaas.”

Klein sê daar is heelwat wat familie, vriende of kollegas kan doen om te help.

“Praat openlik oor die siekte en hoe dit die persoon beïnvloed. Ondersoek die siekte en probeer om dit beter te verstaan. Bied jou volle ondersteuning deur tyd te maak om te luister sonder om te oordeel.”

Sy sê mense met geestesiektes is geneig tot subtiele hulpkrete.

“Hierdie krete word egter nie altyd gehoor nie. Dit het ook ’n direkte invloed op ons hoë selfdoodsyfer.”

Klein raai mense aan om konfrontasie te vermy en om mense met geestesiektes nie te laat voel of iets met hulle skort nie.

Sy sê die samelewing moet opgevoed word oor kwessies rakende geestesiektes, en doen ’n beroep op mense om by haar Facebook-blad “Overwinning the Stigma of Mental Illness” aan te sluit.

“Deel jou storie en praat vrylik oor geestesiektes. Laat ons ’n skouer bied vir mense wat aan geestesversteurings ly. Hulp is om die draai,” sê sy.

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