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Sun May 25, 2014, 06:00 PM

Stigmatization of the mentally ill.

How do you attack it?

That question can be both seen as a question of how you do it here or elsewhere and a question of what can we do about it?

10 replies, 366 views

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Arrow 10 replies Author Time Post
Reply Stigmatization of the mentally ill. (Original post)
Neoma May 25 OP
etherealtruth May 25 #1
Neoma May 25 #2
etherealtruth May 25 #3
Neoma May 25 #4
etherealtruth May 25 #5
Neoma May 25 #6
kickysnana May 25 #7
Neoma May 25 #8
HereSince1628 Jun 1 #9
HereSince1628 Jun 2 #10

Response to Neoma (Original post)

Sun May 25, 2014, 06:24 PM

1. Attack it with facts and examples

My ex-husband suffered from horrible (and for a time intractable ) depression. Oddly enough, it was the example of Mike Wallace (plus his parents, sister and me) encouraging treatment.

I became horribly depressed following divorce ... I took anti-depressants for two years (approximately 10 years ago) .... as far as I am concerned Paxil saved my life

It is a slow process .... folk with mental illness have been stigmatized for so very long. As hard as it can be talking about our personal experiences with mental illness (and treatment), talking about it may encourage others to do the same .... and to seek treatment.

We all know someone that has experienced mental illness (whether we are aware of it or not)

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Response to etherealtruth (Reply #1)

Sun May 25, 2014, 06:37 PM

2. That's part of the problem.

More people do need to tell their story. I personally think a good part of it is poor self-esteem and just generally being afraid to put yourself out there.

I mean seriously, how do you react to people who claim straight up that you're going to be a murderer? That's a horrible way to start this kind of discussion. If there's any group who needs serious moral support in order to tell their stories, it's this one.

I tried that once. I was slammed for being crazy because the standpoint he was at was impossible to reach. Once I started talking about knives, that was the end of the discussion. No need to explain further apparently.

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Response to Neoma (Reply #2)

Sun May 25, 2014, 06:59 PM

3. The issues are so complex

... the answers are going to be equally complex.

I don't even have a clue ... my best friend of 45 years (we met the summer before kindergarten) killed herself almost 2 years ago ... I still can't wrap my head around the horrific illness that consumed and eventually killed her. SHE WAS NEVER A DANGER TO ANYONE BUT HERSELF!!

As far as idiots claiming that "you" are going to be a murderer (or are the fault of societal ills/ violence) ... remember they have an agenda .... an agenda to blame anything but guns for gun violence. They count on people suffering from mental illness to be "quiet" ... and their idiotic assertions are meant to stigmatize mental illness further to insure you will be quiet.

IF THERE IS ANY COMFORT ... READING THROUGH THE THREADS .... MOST PEOPLE ARE SICKENED AND DISGUSTED BY THOSE TRYING TO LAY THIS AT THE FEET OF PEOPLE WITH MENTAL ILLNESS.

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Response to etherealtruth (Reply #3)

Sun May 25, 2014, 07:05 PM

4. Thank you.

This is really true, I think there's been more support this time around.

I'm very open about it in real life because I accidentally became the leader of my college's mental health club. This fall I plan to try and get the word more out to teachers so they can tell their students that there's support if they need it.

I plan to be a neurologist someday. One step at a time.

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Response to Neoma (Reply #4)

Sun May 25, 2014, 07:19 PM

5. Wishes for a successful career and life

Define success in a way that is meaningful for you ... it took me until I was in my forties to understand that I was the only one that could define what my personal success was!

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Response to etherealtruth (Reply #5)

Sun May 25, 2014, 07:26 PM

6. I like learning, something everyone can't say.

Even if I don't get to where I'm going, the education is suitable enough for me to thrive on.

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Response to Neoma (Original post)

Sun May 25, 2014, 07:47 PM

7. "Attack" might be a poor choice of words. n/t

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Response to kickysnana (Reply #7)

Sun May 25, 2014, 07:48 PM

8. Haha, probably.

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Response to Neoma (Original post)

Sun Jun 1, 2014, 09:17 AM

9. Tho' bias against the MI raises desire to fight, these incidents validate fear and extend prejudice

Last edited Sun Jun 1, 2014, 01:50 PM - Edit history (3)

which simply creates greater distortion, and prejudicial justifications for discrimination against the mentally ill.

"The public most fear violence that is random, senseless, and unpredictable and they associate this with mental illness. Indeed, they are more reassured to know that someone was stabbed to death in a robbery, than stabbed to death by a psychotic man (Marzuk P. Violence, crime, and mental illness. How strong a link? Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1996;53:481486. ).

In a series of surveys spanning several real-life events in Germany, Angermeyer and Matschinger (Violent attacks on public figures by persons suffering from psychiatric disorders. Their effect on the social distance towards the mentally ill. Eur Arch Psychiatry Clin Neurosci. 1995;245:159164. ) showed that the public's desire to maintain social distance from the mentally ill increased markedly after each publicized attack, never returning to initial values.

Further, these incidents corresponded with increases in public perceptions of the mentally ill as unpredictable and dangerous."


Stuart, Violence and mental illness: an overview. World Psychiatry. Jun 2003; 2(2): 121124.
PMCID: PMC1525086


It's a curiosity that speaks to the role of misperception and distorted cognition in the 'mentally well' that fear of violence by the mentally is considered so great while all out of proportion with society's general experience. While 25-30% of persons in developed nations manifest diagnosable symptoms of mental illness each year, scientific surveys taken to detect violence by the mentally ill find that less than 2% of the population reports such events in the previous year.

Yet, the perceptions are so strongly entrained that attempts at disabusing the mistaken of their prejudice are rejected as 'word policing', 'thought control' and 'social engineering'.

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Response to Neoma (Original post)

Mon Jun 2, 2014, 08:28 AM

10. This post in GDwell represents several aspects of the problem

http://www.democraticunderground.com/10025037246

The 'science' section of the Business Insider, a large circulation on-line publication) uses stigmatizing language in its headline and it is inserted into a DU subject line. Within the publishing industry the AP style guidelines ( http://www.ap.org/content/press-release/2013/entry-on-mental-illness-is-added-to-ap-stylebook) are not followed by editors.

The DUer who posted the headline used by the BI is a advocate for LGBT community, and would probably vigorously object if the headline were this year's measles numbers are so g**. Verbatim headlines are not required in GD, and the use of stigmitizing language COULD be acknowledged with either quotes or (sic).

BUT the nature of the AP inappropriate and stigmatizing nature of the headline goes by unnoticed.

DUers, like most English speakers accept this language without question. It is the nature of the chauvinism around mental disorders, that publishers and persons who are otherwise sensitive to bullied groups have no sensitivity re mental disorders

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