Stigma

Low-Barrier Housing and NIMBYism in Action

NIMBYism, the idea that certain development projects are okay, but Not In My BackYard, is discrimination with a prettier hat on. NIMBYs don’t come right out and say the actual reasons for their opposition; instead, they offer other reasons, perhaps to reduce their own cognitive dissonance because they don’t want to think of themselves as …

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Mental Health @ Home book review: No One Cares About Crazy People

Book Review: No One Cares About Crazy People

No One Cares About Crazy People is Pulitzer Prize-winning and New York Times bestselling author Ron Powers’ exploration of his two sons’ journeys with schizophrenia, combined with a sweeping social history of mental health care and attitudes towards those with mental illness. He skillfully interweaves these separate threads, drawing the reader along from the early …

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What Makes Someone a Mental Health Advocate?

I consider myself a mental health advocate, but what does that actually mean? It probably means different things to different people, but let’s chat about it. What a mental health advocate is Before we get to my definition, here’s what a couple of other sources have to say. “Mental health advocates are heroes — individuals …

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Reclamation and the Power We Give to Words

Words interest me, which I suppose makes sense given that I do a lot of reading and writing. I’m particularly interested in the power that some words have, how we decide how much power to give them, and what informs our choices about what words to use. The idea of language reclamation seems quite appealing …

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A Mouse-Infested Psych Ward: Does No One Care About Crazy People?

The raging mouse infestation on the ward where I was recently hospitalized strikes me as something that wouldn’t be allowed to continue on a non-psychiatric unit, but I’m guessing that stigma stops anyone from paying attention to it happening on a psych ward. This is what I’ve come up with so far to email to …

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Common mental illness stereotypes: violent, unpredictable, unreliable, incompetent, weak character

Inaccurate & Damaging 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 …

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How We Talk About Mental Illness: Definitions vs. Connotations

Recent discussions in the blogosphere have got me thinking about the different ways that different people may use the same words. When it comes to mental health conditions, there are technical medical/psychiatric/psychological definitions of terms, but those aren’t necessarily the definitions that people are using in casual conversations. Then there are connotations to words that …

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Political advocacy to challenge mental illness stigma

Political Advocacy to Challenge Mental Illness Stigma

A lot of us in the mental health blogging world are already engaged in advocacy in terms of raising awareness, providing information, and supporting others living with mental illness. There’s another kind of advocacy, though, that many of us (including myself) don’t typically engage in, which is political advocacy. Quorum.us says “Political advocacy is an …

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A Brief History of Stigma: I am mentally ill and I am also... - circle of puzzle pieces

I Am Mentally Ill, and I Am Also… So Many Other Things

I am mentally ill, and I am also a lot of different things. But do people see all of those things, or mostly just the illness? We all have many different identities associated with all the social roles that we play; not identities as in personalities, but bundles of knowledge, expectations, patterns of behaviour that …

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