Stigma is a big deal for those of us dealing with mental health issues. I’ve written about it in my latest book, A Brief History of Stigma, but there are a lot of other people talking about it too. Here are some great quotes on mental illness stigma that I’ve come across.
“The problem with the stigma around mental health is really about the stories that we tell ourselves as a society.”Matthew Quick, author of The Silver Linings Playbook, in an interview with CNN
“The mentally ill frighten and embarrass us. And so we marginalize the people who most need our acceptance. What mental health needs is more sunlight, more candor, more unashamed conversation.”Glenn Close
“Mental pain is less dramatic than physical pain, but it is more common and also more hard to bear. The frequent attempt to conceal mental pain increase the burden: It is easier to say ‘My tooth is aching’ than to say ‘My heart is broken’.”C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain
“It’s so common, it could be anyone. The trouble is, nobody wants to talk about it. And that makes everything worse.”Ruby Wax
“This disease comes with a package: shame. When any other part of your body gets sick, you get sympathy.”Ruby Wax (TED)
Ruby Wax has also done a TED Talk about stigma.
“Stigma against mental illness is a scourge with many faces, and the medical community wears a number of those faces.”Elyn R. Saks, The Center Cannot Hold
“No one would ever say that someone with a broken arm or a broken leg is less than a whole person, but people say that or imply that all the time about people with mental illness.”Elyn R. Saks
For more from Elyn Saks, check out her TED Talk.
“Mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of, but stigma and bias shame us all.”Bill Clinton (source)