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Prejudice

What is... the euphemism treadmill - cartoon of a person running on a treadmill

What Is… the Euphemism Treadmill

In this series, I dig a little deeper into the meaning of psychology-related terms. This week’s term is the euphemism treadmill. Psychologist and linguist Stephen Pinker coined the term euphemism treadmill in a 1994 article in the New York Times. It refers to a process by which words that are used as a euphemism for …

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Is it helpful to sanitize mental illness? - graphic of carnival mask

Does Trying to Sanitize Mental Illness Actually Reduce Stigma?

Recently, I came across a post that was a myths vs. facts type deal on mental illness stigma. One of the myths identified was that people with mental illness are disabled. The blogger’s response was that, on some days, mental illness could make it harder to work for some people, but there are also people …

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Social privileges (e.g. white privilege, male privilege, class privilege) vs. social burdens (racism, sexism class discrimination

Social Privileges as a Counterpoint to Social Burdens

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 …

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

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: Ableism …

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Justin Trudeau in Aladdin costume with brownface

Halloween, Blackface, and Cultural Appropriation

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 a …

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NIMBYism: not in my backyard is just another way of saying mental illness stigma

NIMBYism and Resistance to Mental Health Housing

NIMBYism is a fascinating phenomenon.  NIMBYs, who think that something is okay as long as it’s Not In My BackYard, cover discrimination with a thin veneer of civility and acceptability.  Among the many manifestations of this is with regards to social housing, including supported housing for people with mental illness. The NIMBY arguments NIMBYs’ arguments …

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MH@H book review: Written Off by Philip T. Yanos

Book Review: Written Off

Written Off: Mental Health Stigma and the Loss of Human Potential by Philip T. Yanos wasn’t available from the local public library, so I got a copy from my alma mater university library. That difference in availability gives some indication of the nature of the book. I didn’t think it was overly textbookish, but at …

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How do we fight stigma most effectively? Education? Contact? Language change? Protest?

The Stigma Effect: How to Fight Mental Illness Stigma Effectively

I was inspired to write this post after reading the book The Stigma Effect (affiliate link) by psychologist Patrick Corrigan. The book looks at what research has to say about what works and what doesn’t to fight stigma. Corrigan is a prolific stigma researcher, and I first encountered his work when I was doing my …

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How do you respond to stigmatized language? Dialogue bubbles with words like schizo

How Do You Respond to Stigmatized Language?

Crazy.  Psycho.  Schizo.  Nutbar.   Mad.  Retard.  Lunatic.  Loony tunes.   Insane.  F***ed in the head.  Bonkers.   Whack job.  Batshit crazy.  Certifiable. These are just a few examples, but when it comes to derogatory mental health-related terms, there are many of them and we hear them often.  Sometimes we even use them ourselves. A …

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What Is… Conversion “Therapy”

In this series, I dig a little deeper into the meaning of psychological terms. This week’s term is conversion “therapy”. I’ve forgotten the details, but recently I heard/read something that mentioned conversion therapy, so I decided to look a little closer at this pseudo-therapy that aims to force people’s sexuality to fit with heteronormative expectations. …

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