Shunning = Stigma
It’s something in today’s society we don’t give much thought or credence too. It bring’s up images of the past like segregation, Amish folks or even dare I say it? Slavery.
But there is still shunning going on today. It’s happening right under your eyes, in homes all over the world. It maybe even be happening in your home, to a loved one or to you.
Do you suffer from Clinical Depression, Bipolar, ADHD or any other type of mental illness? If your answer is yes, then you most like have been shunned at some point. What? ME Shunned? I’m here to say emphatically the answer is a resounding Y-E-S YOU!
How can this be?
The answer is that people need more education.
We need more studies that show just how many people suffer from one or many of these diseases. Yes they are diseases. And some of us have been suffering from them a long time without even knowing we even had them. We have felt like outcasts, strangers, weirdos from other people. Or maybe when we finally came out of the closet about our diagnosis, people looked at us or treated us differently. Maybe friends and family members disappeared or have said things like “Oh she’s just having a rough time, She’ll snap out of it.” or “He’s Crazy”, “I always knew he that he has a mental illness, what a shame for the family.” All of these statements equal the equivalent of today’s shunning towards people suffering from mental illnesses.
You see, those of us who have one, can’t just snap out of it. We aren’t being lazy when we can’t get out of bed, or can’t stop crying, or can’t leave our house because we are scared to death. It’s because we have a disease. On the flip-side, there is treatment available. There are new medications, new treatment options, support groups, great doctors and more research being done every year to learn more about the human brain and the effects these diseases have on people. We can live healthy lives and function just like other people int he world.
But we need to educate ourselves on our options, and then educate the ones around us as well. We need support from many sources if we are to succeed, because it’s a moving target that changes. Instead of being shunned, we need to be loved and cared for by the ones who love us. We need their support because often or not, they are the one’s who see our behaviors and recognize them before we do. We need more groups like brokenlightcollective.com, healthline.com, blogs like natashatracy.com, nami.org and healthyplace.com to name a few.
We need more articles written like http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/07/24/photography-as-a-balm-for-mental-illness/.
It’s a team effort to stay on top of what’s happening. To face these diseases alone only leads to more problems for everyone involved. Let’s help to get the word out there and “Break the Stigma!”
If you have ever felt shunned or have shunned someone suffering from any type of mental illness, please feel free to share your story here. The more we spread the word, the more we can help to educate the world and free those who are still trapped in the darkness of their minds…Let’s open the doors instead of closing them on people who need help and shed light on this very important subject.