The power of a stigma

Life is a telling tale.  One day leads to another and what exists within the boundary of time leads the way.  Current events tend to overpower, righteously so (most of the time), but quite frankly only a very few events hold on day – after day – after day – after day.  Like the one that took place on December 14, 2012 at Sandy Hook Elementary school.  Since then issues of gun control and mental health have come closer to the surface.  Advocation, protests, arguments and discussions have engulfed the media. Some good, some bad, some ridiculous, but nevertheless – something!

imgres-1Mental health is a topic, that even when studying overall health, is sometimes taboo.  The first sentence of a chapter in one of my college books states,”What exactly is  psychological health?”  That’s like asking, “What exactly is a cold?”  Some even claim that there is no such thing, that psychological health is just a myth.  Yikes!  By the way, this book was published in 2006.  Unfortunately not in 1950.  So unfortunately, in terms of acceptance, research, and claimed cases, our society needs to prioritize psychological health just as it does physical health. Often times, for much of society, the first word that comes to mind when hearing psychological health is “stigma.” If you argue with this statement, then ask yourself something.  Ask yourself, if you were or are struggling with a psychological issue, would you tell all of society?  Even your boss?  It can be a tough world out there.  Wouldn’t it be nice to live in a world were you could say, and not be judged?  Like having a cold.

So, what is a stigma:  A stigma is the extreme disapproval of (or discontent with) a person on socially characteristic grounds that are perceived, and serve to distinguish them, from other members of a society. Stigma may then be affixed to such a person, by the greater society, who differs from their norms.  (Wikipedia. 2013) 

With stigma in mind, isn’t about time that ridding the power of stigmas’ comes to surface?



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