STIGMA – And Mental Illness


What is stigma?

When someone appears to be different than us, we may view him or her in a negative stereotyped manner.  People who have identities that society values negatively are said to be stigmatized.

Stigma is a reality for people with a mental illness, and they report that how others judge them is one of their greatest barriers to a complete and satisfying life.  Society feels uncomfortable about mental illness. It is not seen like other illnesses such as heart disease and cancer.

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Welcome – Glad you could join me



This site Living In Stigma is dedicated to those individuals living with mental illness, affecting them most deeply along with their spouses, family and friends.

Many forms of mental illness take their shape in Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Schizophrenia and other disorders including Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia just to name a few.  A major note is that mental illness is neither one’s fault nor a character flaw, however, we unfortunately  live in a society laced with Stigma.

News Item: Blogger with torturous migraines has brain fog and taking a break from social media to clear head

Well, I’m confessing, I have some type of “brain fog”, that I’m sure is related to these migraine headaches.  Summer has been crappy.  Writing thoughts are not flowing, and my fingers on the keys aren’t cooperating either, so I’m giving my head a time-out for awhile and taking a break from social media.  I’ll be checking in, so feel free to leave comments.

I’ve lived with these migraines for over 40+ years, assessed by countless neurosurgeons and oodles of tests, end result: “You have bilateral migraines” and that’s that. Translation: Live with it.  I take preventative meds and a med if I snag one coming on.  Currently, zilch is helping.

Thanks to new followers/viewers for checking out this blog, and others that have taken the time to comment on my posts. Be back soon.


9 Things only you will understand living with Chronic Pain

Wow, I identify with all nine of these with my chronic migraines

As many as a third of Americans suffer from chronic pain—a full third! If you’re one of those people for whom low back pain, headaches, arthritis, or one of a long list of other conditions make your daily life a struggle, these nine experiences probably ring way too true.  provides details.

Psychodynamic Therapy

My first involvement with therapy back in the early 1990’s was Psychodynamic Therapy, and at the beginning I was uncertain what it involved.  This form of therapy was used to confront the issues dealing with PTSD, but little did I know I was in for an incredibly bumpy ride.  Back then there wasn’t much information on types of therapies used, and wished I had researched and had use of the internet and resources that we do today.

The information on site explains:

Psychodynamic therapy, also known as insight-oriented therapy, focuses on unconscious processes as they are manifested in a person’s present behavior.  The goals of psychodynamic therapy are a client’s self-awareness and understanding of the influence of the past on present behavior.  In its brief form, a psychodynamic approach enables the client to examine unresolved conflicts and symptoms that arise from past dysfunctional relationships and manifest themselves in the need and desire to abuse substances.

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Depression & Lack of Appetite

This article was found on (Coping & Depression blog) by

One of the most common symptoms of depression is a change in appetite. People who have depression either lose their appetite and eat less than they did before, or else their appetite increases and they eat more than they did before their depression started. For me, my appetite has lessened but it’s affected me a lot more than a simple reduction of hunger pangs. Depression and lack of hunger can be distressing.

How Depression and Lack of Appetite Affects Me

Depression affects my eating habits mostly by making me apathetic about food. Flavours feel dulled so I never really enjoy anything that I eat. I opt for really sour candy, ice cream or whatever seems tastiest. I fill up on junk food and then don’t care about fruits and vegetables.

A Depressed Brain is Still Part of Your Body

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Abuse: Women only valuable for sex, otherwise a bag of trash

I read this article in the New York Times today, once again reinforcing my opinions that in certain sections of the world, women are only valuable for sexual exploitations, otherwise they are regarded as trash.

Rohingya Women Flee Violence Only to Be Sold Into Marriage


Childhood Abuses: Sometimes emotional more harmful than sexual or physical

I can identify with this article, as I too was emotionally and sexually abused.  Because of the sexual abuse, I’m still pondering if the emotional abuse would have still taken place or if that was the reason.  My mother was toxic, what spewed out of her mouth was hurtful, undeserved and damaging;  I still hear those words in my mind today.  ~~ Deb

Children who are emotionally abused and neglected face similar and sometimes worse mental health problems as children who are physically or sexually abused, yet psychological abuse is rarely addressed in prevention programs or in treating victims, according to a new study published by the American Psychological Association.

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“Well back in the ‘60’s, we didn’t know how to handle things like that”

That was my mother’s asinine comeback to my question, “Why didn’t you even take me to the doctors’ as a caution?” when discussing the sexual abuse a few years ago.  I’ve always questioned this, whether it be any decade, wouldn’t a mother ensure her child was ok? All around, I have a toxic mother.

My parents didn’t believe me when I was 8 years old, revealing that our neighbor was sexually abusing me, and making matters worse, had to ask for forgiveness from the abuser.  I doubt my mother truly believes me to this day, or recognized that she made a huge mistake or perhaps ashamed how it was all handled.

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Childhood Trauma Tied to Migraine Risk as Adult

(HealthDay News) — Experiencing a traumatic event during childhood may raise the risk for migraines as an adult, new Canadian research suggests.

“We found the more types of violence the individual had been exposed to during their childhood, the greater the odds of migraine,” study author Sarah Brennenstuhl, from the University of Toronto, said in a university news release.

“For those who reported all three types of adversities — [witnessing] parental domestic violence, childhood physical and sexual abuse — the odds of migraine were a little over three times higher for men and just under three times higher for women,” Brennenstuhl said.

The findings were reported online recently in the journal Headache. To reach their conclusions, researchers looked at data from a mental health survey involving nearly 23,000 men and women over the age of 18.

“The most surprising finding was the link between exposure to parental domestic violence and migraines,” study co-author Esme Fuller-Thomson, a professor and chair at University of Toronto’s Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, said in the news release.

Girls who had witnessed parental domestic violence grew up to be women with a 64 percent greater risk for migraine, compared with those with no such history. For men, the bump in risk amounted to 52 percent, the investigators found.

And the team noted this association held up even after taking into account a wide range of influential factors, such as age, race, a history of depression or anxiety, and any history of childhood physical and/or sexual abuse.

However, the study did not prove a cause-and-effect link between childhood trauma and migraine risk.
More information

Visit the U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke for more on migraines.

SOURCE: University of Toronto, news release, June 24, 2015


EMDR Therapy for PTSD?

A friend has struggled with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) for many years, and has just started EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) therapy.  She found it unusual and felt uneasy at first, but after a few sessions could feel a positive effect.

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Imagine your child handcuffed in school because of ADHD?

Officer sued after handcuffing school children with ADHD

Now this is taking things too far, the child now thinks he’s a criminal for a disorder that isn’t even his fault.

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Two northern Kentucky women have sued a county sheriff and one of his school resource officers for placing their two disabled elementary school children in handcuffs.

The 8-year-old boy and the 9-year-old girl and their mothers are identified in the lawsuit only by their initials. The children have both been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. The lawsuit says school officials asked School Resource Officer Kevin Sumner to help after the children were being disruptive in class. A report from the sheriff’s office says the children tried to hit Sumner.

The lawsuit says Sumner placed the handcuffs around the children’s biceps behind their backs.

A spokesman for the Kenton County Sheriff’s Office said Sheriff Charles Korzenborn had not been notified of the lawsuit and declined to comment. An attorney for Sumner said he acted appropriately.

Who are these men & women who sexually abuse children?


They can be the most educated, the most good-looking, the rich, the do-gooders. Women and other children, too.

Perhaps naturally, or even through media outlets (tv, movies etc) we come to think of sexual predators as these sneaky, sleazy characters. If that were the case, kids wouldn’t be at as great of a risk. We could more easily spot a potential abuser and avoid them. In fact, they need to be charming, funny, nice, talkative etc to gain the trust of parents and children.  
Often they don’t need to gain trust, because they are themselves the family friend, youth leader, or relative of their victims. It’s sad, the media certainly doesn’t want to address it, victims don’t want to talk about it – but incest is a real threat to society.The truth is – we need to accept that the potential exists for anyone we know to be a sexual abuser.  This doesn’t mean that we go around looking crooked at everyone, but we are conscious that it can come from anywhere.  A mentality of awareness helps us to be better prepared if we are ever faced with suspecting someone we trust.There are many ways that abusers gain access and maintain secrecy of their victims. There is no “one” way that it happens, but here is some insight into how they perpetrate and gain access to their victims, and most importantly – how they maintain their cover. 

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Courage & Trust

Trust has been a huge issue for me, with problems throughout my life including selecting friends, wary of men or other adults.  I took an enormous risk marrying my husband in 1979, we’re still married, so I chose well and my instincts proved it.  An abuser, along with my parents, stole that away from me at the age of 8, and are to blame for this.  Not fair.

Learn Types of Personality Disorders Here

You will find 10 distinct types of personality disorders listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition, (DSM-V). The different personality disorders are put into one of three clusters based on similar characteristics assigned to each cluster:

Cluster A personality disorders – odd, eccentric
Cluster B personality disorders – dramatic, emotional, and erratic
Cluster C personality disorders – anxious, fearful

It’s common for people to receive a diagnosis of more than one of the personality disorder types, most commonly within the same cluster. As we explore further, you’ll begin to see how the four common features come together to manifest in the different personality disorders.

Personality Disorder Types

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Why doesn’t she just leave him?

Really?  And women should just up and leave an abusive relationship; as if it were that easy.

‘Why doesn’t she just leave?’ is a timeworn question about women trapped in relationships that are physically and/or emotionally abusive to them.  Economic dependence is clearly part of the story — many women lack the financial means to leave and find themselves trapped by both poverty and abuse.

Of the women who do attempt to escape the abuse, some opt to petition a judge for a civil restraining order, also called a Protection From Abuse (PFA) order, for protection from abuse, harassment, threats, or intimidation. Research shows that PFAs can promote women’s safety and help women manage the threat of abuse.

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PTSD common in ICU survivors

Image source: Operating Room @ Roosevelt Hospital, NY City, 1900

PTSD can drastically impact a person’s ability to communicate and connect with others, truly interrupting their lives and preventing experiences of joy,” says Joe Bienvenu, M.D., associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. “This is why our findings are important and why it’s so critical that we continue to research ways to prevent PTSD.”

Similar research was done in years past, but there was much less data at that time. “We now have a larger data set to review and learn from,” says Ann Parker, a fellow in the Johns Hopkins Medicine Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine. “These data could help us develop better prevention methods for ICU-induced PTSD.”

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“High Functioning” Bipolar Disorder

This article was written by:  from (Breaking Bipolar Blog)

Sometimes people don’t believe I’m particularly sick. They meet me, I look fine, I interact, I charm, I wit and all seems, if not normal, at least something reasonably normal adjacent.

And that’s fine. It’s by design. Being a high-functioning mentally ill person, I can’t really afford to run around with my hair on fire. But faking normalcy, happiness and pleasure is a tricky and very expensive bit of business.

High-Functioning Bipolar

Being a “high-functioning” bipolar doesn’t really have a definition, per se. The term indicates that I’m not in a mental hospital, and I do things like live on my own, pay rent, work and whatnot. I would suggest that being “high-functioning” seems to indicate that I can fake not being a crazy person.

High-Functioning Weekdays

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Are you bullied by your Children?

I found this article interesting, as my husband and I frequently comment on the way children behave while out in public places, and how different times are compared to how strict our parents were with us.  Last week, we seldom eat out and our dinner was spoiled at a restaurant (not fast food), where children from three different families were either screaming or running everywhere.  In my opinion, the kids aren’t at fault; it’s the parents.

Have you ever seen a child bully or boss around his parents? A child who talks down to them, disrespects or even mocks them? Embarrassing, isn’t it?

A generation or two ago, it would have been unthinkable for children to bully their parents. Today, nearly everyone knows a parent who is bullied by his or her child. Pay a visit to your local playground or stroll through a shopping mall. You’re bound to see the bullied parent dynamic in action.

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My Description of Depression

Image source:

“Depression, best known of all the mental illnesses, is difficult to endure and treat.   It renders one feeling hopeless and helpless.  Experiencing a sort of wintry solitude, one is completely immobilized with any light of optimism dimming.   It creates emotional and financial fallout, coupled with a horrible emptiness and black death-like existence.  Life tastes sour”. – Deb – Living in Stigma