It has been revealed that millions of British adults prefer to keep their mental health, disabilities, or weight private. A study of 1,016 adults found that more than a third (36 per cent) do not prefer to confide in others about anything they consider “personal” or “embarrassing” (28 per cent).
Topics associated with menstruation, ageing, personal hygiene, and menopause are also taboo.
It is despite celebrities such as Lady Gaga, Davina McCall, and James Argent opening up about mental health, menopause, and obesity.
One in ten people says they have confided in someone in the past and been hurt by their response.
Nearly a quarter (23 per cent) worry about being judged, while 18 per cent were raised to keep personal matters private.
Among the five who worry others won’t keep secrets, 16 per cent fear being made fun of, and 15 per cent want to be considered “normal”.
According to a study by Essity, hygiene and health are crucial to human health.
Although we live in a society that encourages openness and acceptance, there is still a long way to go before we can break down the barriers that prevent open and honest conversation, according to a spokesman.
Many people fear being treated differently – and education is still needed, whether you have a mental or physical illness.
It’s easy to judge others when you don’t understand what they’re going through – but talking to a healthcare professional is a great start.”
According to the study, Brits have missed days of school or work due to embarrassment over their issues.
Adults are most likely to take time off for mental health reasons, with one in four needing a break.
In addition, 12 per cent skip school or work due to menstruation, one in ten because of eczema, and six per cent due to obesity.
A partner has been contacted by 45 per cent of those who have tried to talk to someone else, while mom has been contacted by 30 per cent.
More than a third (36 per cent) prefer talking to a health professional to a friend (29 per cent), a sibling (15 per cent) – or even their father (9 per cent).
A quarter of those who opened up felt immediately relieved, while 23 per cent felt less stressed.
Unfortunately, not everyone felt positive about their experience. 14 per cent felt burdened by others, 11 per cent felt embarrassed, and one in 20 felt mortified.
Education about health and hygiene topics, such as menopause, incontinence, and menstruation, should begin early to reduce shame and reluctance.
Over half (55 per cent) think it starts with parents being open with their children, while 46 per cent think schools should provide dialogue and training opportunities.
A quarter of businesses (23 per cent) believe they should take responsibility for their employees by educating, training, and supporting them.
More information campaigns, accessible to all, should be provided by the government, 35 per cent of respondents said.
Essity’s spokesman said, “It is important for brands like Bodyform and TENA to push the boundaries and normalize the conversation around periods and menstruation.”.
We need to keep working to ensure more people have the confidence to speak about their well-being without feeling embarrassed,” the researchers said.