The Stigma of Mental Illness

by Laura Ellis on July 2, 2010

When is the last time you referred to someone you disliked as crazy? Almost all of us use that word without thinking, but using words like crazy, nuts, schizo, etc. as pejoratives vilifies and marginalizes people living with real mental illnesses. Those diagnosed with psychiatric disorders may be afraid to disclose them for fear they will be avoided, disbelieved, or labelled. And that hesitance to disclose can carry over into a reluctance to seek help or comply with treatment, which can have tragic results. This Tuesday we’ll talk about the stigma of mental illness – where it comes from, and how it can be lessened so those who need help are more likely to receive it.

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