What is stigma?
Stigma is a cluster
of negative attitudes and beliefs that motivate
the public to fear, reject, avoid and
discriminate against people with mental
It is not just a
matter of using the wrong word or action.
It is about
dictionary publisher, defines stigma as “a scar
or brand left by a hot iron.”
When applied to the
field of mental health and substance abuse,
stigma hurts, punishes and diminishes people.
say living with stigma is worse than living with
the illness itself.
Most stigma comes
from the Hollywood-created perception of padded
walls and old-fashioned asylums.
Stigma leads to
fear, mistrust, and violence against people
living with mental illness and their families.
to inaccuracies and misunderstandings, people
have been led to believe that an individual with
a mental illness has a weak character or is
result is that, for many, living with the stigma
is worse then living with the illness itself.
It often discourages
people from seeking help and talking openly
about their condition.
families must learn to live with and fight the
stigma or mental illness.
illnesses can strike anyone.
It knows no age
limits, economic status, race, creed or color.
In fact, one in
every four Americans will experience a mental
illness in their lifetime.
Today, most people
can lead productive lives within their
communities, thanks to a variety of supports,
programs, and/or medications.
with mental illnesses, like everyone else, have
the potential to work at any level depending on
their own abilities, experience and motivation!
This is evidenced by
this list of well-known individuals who have
lived with a mental illness:
Jane Pauley, Robin
Williams, Aretha Franklin, Charley Pride, Ted
Turner, Patty Duke, Abraham Lincoln, Winston
Churchill, Eric Clapton, Burt Reynolds, and Edie