stigma come from everywhere. they can come from the outside. in this case, they the oppressive nature the society puts on people with mental disorders. they can come from the inside. In that case, the personalization of the outside forces effect who we are internally and how we think about ourselves. the third side talks about what can be done to counter stigma.
outward facing side
stigma is born out of ignorance. people are afraid of what they don’t know. they fall back to how mental disorders are portrayed in the media and in hollywood. We are screwed there. We get stamped by sex & lies and worse yet one who flew over the cuckoos nest. we’re loonies, crazy, nuts, wacko, off our rocker and many other derogatory words. movies like beautiful mind that can cast mental disorders in a neutral if not positive light are almost considered “art” films and don’t have the positive impact we can hope for. many people go to a movies like that and forget about my morning. some help that is.
inward facing side
i feel stigma when i feel shame. that shame comes not fitting in, from not measuring up. what do i not measure up to? societal norms and expectation. society have the expectation that i am suppose to handle everything that comes my way. i can’t, especially when facing my mental disorder, so i don’t measure up to societal norms. because of that, i feel shame which them becomes the root of my stigma.
what can be done to counter stigma? education. if you believe in strength in numbers, and live in the united states, there is likely a nami (national alliance for mental illness) affiliate near by. if you reside in britain, prince william has worked to move nami to the other side of the pond(another reason to like that guy), pw-nami. give what you can. give your time, give your money or give your rah rah support. sure, no doubt it’s a small dent but any dent helps. even one less person who becomes educated about mental illness is one less person who passes on the stigma.