Today I read a story written by a compassionate and courageous woman on a bipolar support forum. I really admired how she, a non-psych nurse, treated a manic teen in a general hospital. The manic teen’s behavior to an outsider would have seemed shocking, but she knew that it was not his fault, but that he was ill and needed help and understanding. After encountering ignorance and prejudice against the mentally ill boy by other staff, she spoke up to defend him and challenge stigma. That reminded me of an occasion when I, on tenterhooks, didn’t speak up about two kinds of prejudice. Continue reading
Obviously from the title you know what this post will be about. Believe me when I say that I thought twice about writing it. Just like certain illnesses, a decision to remain childless, is often stigmatized. Many people assume that childless women have a physical inability to have children, and may therefore be pitied, or seem cold-hearted in some ways for not liking children. There are other reasons, too, that may be judged. I don’t think that because I choose childlessness for certain reasons, that other women similar to me should, too. I believe in freedom of choice, and hope that I won’t be judged harshly for mine. Continue reading
“I’ve come to understand and to believe that each of us is more than the worst thing we’ve ever done. I believe that for every person on the planet. I think if somebody tells a lie, they’re not just a liar. I think if somebody takes something that doesn’t belong to them, they’re not just a thief. I think even if you kill someone, you’re not just a killer. And because of that, there’s this basic human dignity that must be respected by law.” – Bryan Stevenson Continue reading
Are you an illness (label)?
A topic that sometimes comes up in my circles is the use of the “be” verb with medical or mental illnesses. Have you ever noticed that for some illnesses people say “I am [insert illness]” or “He is [insert illness]”? Some specific examples of this labeling include “I am bipolar”, “I am schizophrenic”, “I am an addict”, “I am diabetic”, and “I am epileptic”. I find that strange, especially because you would never say “I am a headache”, or “I am cancer”.
Stigma and Continue reading