Introduction to Stigma and Mental Illnesses

What is it that makes us

Merriam-Webster gives us a few definitions: (a) not deviating from a norm, rule, or principal; (b) conforming to a type, standard, or regular pattern; (c) occurring naturally. Technically, don’t we all fall under that last definition of normal? I don’t see any robots here–—*squints through the screen*——yeah, no robots! Humans are found in nature, so we are normal regarding the third definition. However, the first two definitions may have me contract my statement that everyone is normal. Most of us do not fit into a single standard because we are all different; but that is the beauty of human nature—our uniqueness!

However, there are certain people who do not appreciate those who are different from them, especially those who endure mental illnesses. There is a stigma regarding mental illnesses. A stigma is defined as “a mark of shame or discredit” by Merriam-Webster, but there is nothing to be ashamed of! Mental illnesses are more commonplace than people realize—nearly 1 in 4 people have some sort of mental illness. However, because of the negative connotations associated with mental illnesses, a lot of people either go undiagnosed and/or untreated because they do not want to be viewed differently by their peers or by medical professionals.

Just because someone has mental illnesses does NOT mean that they should be treated any differently. My goal is, through my biweekly blog posts, to educate you about mental illnesses and to provide resources and materials to help #StopTheStigma. Maybe someone do not fit the definition of “normal” if they have a mental illness, but honestly, who cares? Who wants to be normal, anyway? Normalcy is entirely overrated. Embrace who you are, and do not shy away from conversations regarding mental illnesses, education is key to learning more about others and yourself.

Until Saturday, my warriors—

Medicated Normalcy♥

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2 comments

  1. Speaker · February 28

    I always have this dilemma. Should I be extra nice to people who have mental illness? Sometimes when I see that the individual that is in a wheelchair, I may hold the door longer then I would to a normal person. But my fear is that what if the individual feels bad because I acted different towards him. Or that everyone around him acts different towards him.

    Also is there a line where an individual’s mental illness is too server and has to be seen by a doctor and placed in a mental institute. If they are in a mental institute than most people are going to view them differently.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Medicated Normalcy · February 28

      I would not necessarily be extra nice, I would instead just act how you normally do with others. I do not think that the individual would feel bad if you acted different towards them, most would see it as an act of kindness, especially if you act kind towards everyone.
      Following your second question, most patients in a mental institution are there for their own health and safety. Some individuals do endure mental disorders differently, which is why some take medication, others see counselors/psychiatrists, attend therapy, or a combination of these things. There is indeed a stigma that surrounds mental institutions and those who visit them, but there should not be one. An individual can voluntarily commit themselves to a mental institution, or they can be involuntarily committed, in which a medical professional or family member thinks it best for them to receive ongoing treatment.

      Liked by 1 person

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