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Monday, July 25, 2016

The Pervasiveness of Mental Illness Stigma

The Pervasiveness of Mental Illness Stigma

The ubiquitous, sometimes subtle, but most often overt stigmatization of folks with mental illness is documented, but not well enough, I opine.

In both private and public setting I have found myself in, I often hear folks deride those with even a perceived mental health issue, especially implying that they are indeed spineless and/or insane, thus to be ostracized at all costs, with no gray areas for us to exist within.

For examples, in one public setting, someone told me that, "I was afraid of you," when you were not at your mental equilibrium - - I paraphrase here, a bit.  That same person told me at another time, "You did not like us in the past, for you never wanted to hang out with us."  I have also heard a few people speak ill of another person, in one public setting, who had a "total mental breakdown," according to their perception, by saying, again, that they were "afraid" of them -- I am by design using a neutral pronoun, here.  

Also, I must say that the "fear" of folks with a mental illness is borne of an insidious human need to classify, devalue through stigmatization, thus, in effect or, more to the point, defect, to control the behaviors and manipulate the perception, both inner and outer, of a man-made subgroup, which is made up entirely of marginalized or the less-privileged, for the rich are almost never stigmatized, but are elevated to eccentricities.

I, myself, had internalized the stigma associated with mental illness for well over three decades; I, by default, was deprogrammed through the aftermaths, and the subsequent inner need to rebuild on a healthier foundation each time, of several mental collapse, relapse episodes, of course -- and needless to say, for they are no self-made human being -- with the help of several amazing therapists and one well-matched psychotropic prescribed by a prodigious match-maker of a psychiatrist.

Stigma devalues, marginalizes, and prevents us with a mental illness -- yes, personhood well before illness, every time -- to seek mental health professional help in order to acquire the much-needed coping skills, since there is no cure, to deal with the dis-ease and all of its external, unnatural kins created by society.

Goddess bless, reader!

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