The idea that a mental health disorder makes you less of a person is pretty deplorable. And sadly, it’s also a rather common mind set.
And it hurts those who are victims of it.
This is, of course, what stigma is, this very idea. And to say that it’s hurtful is a huge understatement.
And the victims of stigma are everywhere. Some are easy to spot if you look, some are not so easy to see. And some of them are down right surprising.
Why would you have to look?
The truth is that the application of stigmatizing socially behavior is actually a form of blindness. And it isn’t a blindness that applies to those you actively judge, it could not be perpetrated without the assistance of those who choose not to see the truth of stigmatization.
The great thing is that once you start to look, you become part of the solution.
And yet, still there are those …
Yes, there are people who hear the talk about acceptance, and they simple ignore it because they don’t believe that they have anything to do with the problem.
But here’s the problem with that –
If the population consists mostly of people who inflict stigma and people who are apathetic toward the situation, where is the safe place for someone with a mental health illness, disorder or issue to come out and discuss their problems? There isn’t one.
There’s more still
But still, we haven’t discussed the ones who insist on perpetuating the stigmatization of mental health because it’s part of their own camouflage. They do it to hide the fact that they fear for their own mental well being.
And this is a bad situation!
The passion and determination of these people is exactly what we need on the other side of this controversy. If we could show that mental health problems are not reasons for degradation, these people who speak and act so negatively towards them could accept and admit that they may need help.
And even more encouraging, they might then not need nearly as much help as they would if stigma drove them into the dark corners and crevasses of their personal mental health issues.
Are they the real victims?
They are as surely victims of stigma as anyone else, but are they the only real victims? No, the most insidious and insipid thing about stigma is that every person is a victim. Everyone who’s life has been made dark, everyone who has used stigma to feel better than another, everyone who has witnessed that and assimilated the concepts of it as part of their picture of reality.
And everyone who lives in a world where some of the most brilliant minds never got a chance to make this world better because of their oppression by stigmatization, they are a victims too. Just imagine what this world might have been if all the beautiful minds had been free to solve the real problems we have, rather than having to tire and flag, just battling the stupidity of stigma.