The reality is, as always, more complicated. Most of us suffer from some kind of mental ill health in our lives, whether it be anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress or bi-polar disorder. But there are ways we can help sufferers manage such conditions and lead a fulfilling life.
To combat the stigma that this ignorance creates and the shame that can go with it, we need to acknowledge the mental health issues - however challenging - in all our families and friends and talk about them openly and compassionately. Without this kind of support, the recovery or progress of sufferers is hindered by their fear of sharing their struggles with us and their efforts to sustain a support network is hampered.
Therapists can be significant allies in helping the sufferer to feel part of the human race and to transition from 'worrier' to 'warrior'. They can help to raise their client's self-esteem and combat their shame by normalising their challenges and countering any feelings in their client that they are somehow failing or less of a person for their struggles. A recovered client or one who is managing their mental health can become the next champion against stigma.