Sunday, November 14, 2010

Can you feel stigma?

Sometimes people don't ask for help because of prejudice, because of concerns about discrimination, because of shame. Mostly it's because of shame. I think using real words that connect with real feelings would set an example for someone feeling as if life had lost all value. I don't think many people *feel* stigma. Stigma is a concept from sociology that carries no emotional burden, makes it easier to distance ourselves from shame. The mental health field uses it all the time, for distancing. I think changing the language of campaigns would ground them in real experience and further the willingness for people to reach out.

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