It’s time for another week of Working On Us, a series of mental health prompts from Beckie at Beckie’s Mental Mess. Please see her post for more details.
Prompt #1 – Questions:
How do you deal with the Stigma surrounding your mental disorder/illness?
The stigma that I’ve experienced has come in spurts rather than being something that’s ever-present in my daily life. I think there’s something very restrictive about knowing when the next time will be that stigma will get in my face again. My coping strategy is and always has been to get vocal about it.
Does the Stigma associated with mental health bother you? If so, in what way?
Absolutely. It’s like any other social injustice that’s based on attitudes rather than facts, except it’s much closer to home. I’m a firm believer in the line of thinking that the best way to combat stigma is for “normal” people to have contact with and hear from people who live with mental illness. I think it’s really important that those of us who can speak up to do so, and we need to speak even louder to make up for the people living with this kind of illness who aren’t in a position to do so.
Prompt #2 – Picture:
Two things come to mind with this picture. One is the external constraints that society imposes on those of us with mental illness because of stigma and related factors.
The other piece I see is the way mental illness can constrain us, and preventing us from living the life we might otherwise be able to live.
For people with mental illness to truly flourish, I think we need to break down the stigma, but we also need better treatments available so that we are less limited by the effects of our illnesses.
You can find more about mental illness stigma on the Stop Stigma page.