My new book, A Brief History of Stigma, is now available! It looks at the past and present of mental illness stigma, as well as how to move towards a future without stigma.
It’s available from:
What it covers
- Part I: The Nature of the Beast
- 1) What Is Stigma?
- 2) Violence Stereotypes
- 3) Stigma Masquerades
- 4) Suicide Stigma
- 5) Historical Mistreatment of the Mentally Ill
- Part II: Stigma in Context
- 6) Sociocultural Context
- 7) Structural Stigma
- 8) Health Care
- 9) Health Professionals Experiencing Mental Illness
- 10) Law Enforcement & the Justice System
- Part III: What Can We Do About It?
- 11) Challenges to Address Stigma
- 12) How Much Does Language Matter?
- 13) Individual Responses to Stigma
- 14) Addressing Structural & Health Care Stigma
A few words on language
The chapter that addresses language in relation to stigma was initially quite long and very ranty, but I toned it way down in the editing process. I take the approach, influenced by my academic crush Patrick Corrigan, that word policing accomplishes the opposite of the intended effect. I also believe that person-first language is weird, and it doesn’t match up with how we talk about positive and neutral characteristics.
Throughout the book, I alternate between talking about people with mental illness and mentally ill people for the sake of variety. Both of those are considered stigmatizing by the word police, but some people also think the word stigma is too stigmatizing. I think the whole thing is a distraction from the real issue, which is the socially recognized differences, stereotypes, prejudiced attitudes, and discriminatory behaviours that constitute stigma.
The book page for A Brief History of Stigma book has lots of stigma-fighting resources. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be doing a series of posts elaborating on some of the concepts that are touched on in the book.
If anyone is interested in reviewing it, let me know and I’ll send you a copy.