The good patient stereotype: the role that mental health professionals may expect of patients
Stop the Stigma

The “Good Patient” and Other Mental Illness Stereotypes

Stereotypes are a way that we store knowledge about social categories. When a category is considered by society to be deviant, such as the group of people who are mentally ill, members of that category tend to be viewed as a homogeneous group that is accurately represented by stereotypes. There may be a grain of… Continue reading The “Good Patient” and Other Mental Illness Stereotypes

Diagram of socially acceptable identities and deviant identities
Stop the Stigma

Racism, Prejudice, and Implicit/Explicit Beliefs

Last week I reviewed White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo. There were some important concepts that she alluded to but didn’t clearly explain, so I decided to do a post, from a social constructionist viewpoint, about how stereotypes and prejudice develop, and why the difference between implicit and explicit beliefs is important. Our societies create categories… Continue reading Racism, Prejudice, and Implicit/Explicit Beliefs

What is... Myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) - cartoon of exhausted snail
Insights into Psychology Series

What Is… ME/CFS (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue)

In this series, I dig a little deeper into the meaning of psychology-related terms... but not this week. Instead, we'll take a look at ME/CFS, and why it's absolutely not all in someone's head. The National Institutes of Health describes ME/CFS as "a debilitating disease that lacks a universally accepted case definition, cause, diagnosis, or… Continue reading What Is… ME/CFS (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue)

Just a psych patient? Mental illness stigma in the ER
Stop the Stigma

Just a Psych Patient? Stigma in the ER

I saw this CBC News story recently about a man who was written off because he was just a psych patient. I wanted to write about it, then promptly forgot about it until suninthespring brought it to my attention. In April 2018, David Pontone went to the emergency department at Humber River Hospital in Toronto,… Continue reading Just a Psych Patient? Stigma in the ER

Mental illness stigma and the problem with language policing
Stop the Stigma

The Problem with Language Policing

Patrick Corrigan has been my research crush for a number of years now. And what is a research crush, you might ask? I like how his mind works. He's a psychologist and stigma researcher, with lived experience to boot. He's one of the most prolific publishers in academic journals that I've ever come across. His… Continue reading The Problem with Language Policing

Social privileges and social burdens
Social Justice

Another Way of Looking at Social Privilege

Lately, white privilege has been a hot topic. The people I've come across who take a stance against the idea of white privilege seem to have in common the line of thinking that they haven't been handed anything, so how can they have social privilege? I thought it might be worth reframing social privilege in… Continue reading Another Way of Looking at Social Privilege

Black Lives Matter
Social Justice

Why I Use My Voice to Say Black Lives Matter

Through our shared humanity, all lives matter. So why is it important to say Black lives matter? When lives don't matter All lives should matter equally. That is the ideal, and probably most of us would agree that it's the "right" thing. Unfortunately, though, in practice, not all lives are given equal value. An obvious… Continue reading Why I Use My Voice to Say Black Lives Matter

Ableism: the assumptions people make about disability - How does ableism relate to mental illness stigma?
Social Justice

Ableism: The Assumptions People Make About Disability

- I've seen ableism being mentioned on Twitter a number of times lately. Aside from the obvious meaning, I wasn't familiar with it in a mental health context. This post will explore what ableism means for people with psychiatric disabilities. Defining ableism An article on the Center for Disability Rights website describes ableism this way:… Continue reading Ableism: The Assumptions People Make About Disability

Justin Trudeau in Aladdin costume with brownface
Social Justice

Halloween, Blackface, and Cultural Appropriation

Time.com Not long ago, a photo was forwarded to Time.com from a 2001 yearbook of Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau, who was a teacher at the time, dressed in an Aladdin costume that included brownface/blackface makeup.  It caused quite a stir, with some people criticizing him as being racist. Since it's Halloween, it seems like… Continue reading Halloween, Blackface, and Cultural Appropriation

Intersectionality and what it means for mental health - diagram of circles intersecting
Mental Health & Illness, Social Justice

Intersectionality and What it Means for Mental Health

Black feminist researcher Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw first proposed the concept of intersectionality in 1989 to represent the many different layers of social stratification that can combine to disadvantage people. This includes factors like race, sexual orientation, social class, age, disability, and gender. Expanding on this concept, sociologist Patricia Hill Collins described the intersectional points as the matrix… Continue reading Intersectionality and What it Means for Mental Health