What is stigma? According to the Oxford Dictionary, stigma is “a mark of disgrace associated with a particular circumstance, quality, or person.” The first example given is “the stigma of mental disorder”. Ouch. There it is. In perpetuity for all to see. Unless changed, the words stigma and mental disorder are forever bound together in a trusted resource. At least the Merriam-Webster online definition adds the words “often unfair beliefs”.
I belong to a ‘secret society’. We meet on Facebook and talk about our concerns for our loved ones and the lack of access to adequate and appropriate care. Some of us advocate for mental health issues; others share current medical findings; still others attend or lead support groups. Each of us is trying to find our voice. But none of us will speak out if it will harm our loved ones.
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