Sunday, 8 November 2015

What is stigma?

What  Is stigma ?
So I'm  going to start  with  the dictionary  definition then I'm going to  build on that with various  experiences   that I've had or that friends have had.

Stigma
 is a mark of disgrace that sets a person apart. When a person is labelled by their illness they are seen as part of a stereotyped group. Negative attitudes create prejudice which leads to negative actions and discrimination.


So when  we talk about  Stigma we mean stigma where mental  illness is concerned and the problem  is because there's a wide variety  of mental illness and poor treatment and therapy  to go with them.  For me personally  stigma takes place in the form of barriers  people have and will  put barriers in place if you have a mental illness , I would say 90% of the time  it's because they have no clue about  what the mental illness is or how it effects you so they  don't want to take a risk. It is only a rare  10%  of cruel people that don't believe in depression , PTSD and anxiety.


I think it's quite appropriate  to talk about it right now  but I don't mean to cause offence with this next paragraph I'm just trying to  put things into perspective about how we look at mental health. Today was remembrance  Sunday in Britain it's when we remember the soldier who gave their lives to defend our country  and  I didn't watch it today. I couldn't watch it today because  I couldn't help but think about all the soldiers that came back with shell shock  and were told there was nothing wrong with them if they were spared the firing squad that is. I'm always going to consider any soldier in the British army a hero  for what they give up for our country. Shell shock brought PTSD into the limelight made it a topic , made it something to learn  about  and what I can say compared to back then things have improved  , back then it 90%  cruel 10% misunderstanding.  I feel there should be a separate day for soldiers who came back with PTSD    we should honour them even more because they came back from the war  just to fight another war. 


I can't put in a job application without thinking will my PTSD hold  me  back ? I know it's silly I know it's stupid  but  I've had people tell me there's nothing wrong with me that depression isn't real   that PTSD isn't a problem. I'm always trying to  be upfront with my  potential employers. I'm not about to forget that those people exist  and  they've been quite smart  to an extent  so  it would be unwise to assume  that anyone is incapable  of being that stupid.  I don't say that to be mean  I say that because the education isn't there to help people understand. That's how we beat the stigma  we educate  and  me making this blog I'm here to support those of you struggling  but I'm  also here to help educate those who don't understand.


When I started this blog I was terrified  about what people might think when  I talk about my own issues. As each post went up I was less and less scared  and it felt good to get my work out there and as a writing exercise this has been an amazing experience  that I was in dire need of. I want more people to blog   because  amplifying one voice and conveying the same message  it has power.  I'm watching a lot of heroes reborn  these days and  if you ware watching it  THAT IS STIGMA! That's exactly it  we're the EVO's which is the cool part  and there's a load of people out there  that want to contain the problem   but don't know how . People are afraid of what they don't understand so  get a voice, get blog  or a youtube channel  start vlogging  what ever you can do and help them understand.


Lastly don't  just remember  the fallen remember  everyone who fell  and everyone who struggled during and after the war on both sides there was death and misery no one came off the war happy  be it WW1, WW2, Northern Ireland,  Gulf Wars , Afghanistan and what's going on today. 



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