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.

Friendship Ruined Therapy

The last therapist I had was amazing, worked with me through some rough issues and since the beginning I often craved I had her as a friend.  I soon understood though, it just wouldn’t work, the conversation would be one-sided; therapy wouldn’t be therapy, she would know all about me, and would we even have the same interests? 

A friend told me of an occurrence where friendship ruined the relationship with her and her therapist.  She had been meeting X every 3 weeks for roughly 2 years, drudging through many agonizing, uncomfortable, personal issues and trusted X entirely with what she disclosed, more than with any other therapist.

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I was a guest on a Radio Talk Show!

Yesterday, on “Hot off the Press”, they posted an article: “WordPressers Making a Splash

We read hundreds of blogs and websites every day, from up-and-coming voices and established pros alike. We love visiting those sites on, but it’s just as rewarding to see other platforms embrace the work of writers, journalists, and artists who regularly publish here, introducing it to new audiences.

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Medical Marijuana to Reduce Depression

Scientists are studying chronic stress and depression, with a focus on ‘endocannabinoids’, which are brain chemicals similar to substances in marijuana.  The findings raise the possibility that components of marijuana may be useful in reducing depression that results from chronic stress.

“In the animal models we studied, we saw that chronic stress reduced the production of endocannabinoids, leading to depression-like behavior,” says RIA senior research scientist Samir Haj-Dahmane, PhD.

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PTSD: 4 Important Things to look for in a Trauma Therapist

To heal from trauma means finally dealing with the source of the trauma, whether it’s childhood abuse or neglect, combat experiences, or a natural disaster or a violent assault. How can this be done, however, when trauma provokes such negative and overwhelming feelings – feelings that most try hard to keep safely buried?

Therapy can be a vital step, helping the person feel safe enough to revisit their trauma without being retraumatized in the process. Getting the right support is key, however. Not only is it important to connect with a therapist well-versed in effective therapeutic approaches, it’s also vital to seek out a person with whom you feel a personal connection. Multiple studies confirm that a person who feels good about their relationship with their therapist is more likely to have a positive outcome. A recent study from Bowling Green State University researchers takes the concept a step further, noting that a deep connection between a therapist and patient can lead to “sacred moments” that increase well-being on both sides.

With that in mind, here are four things to look for to make your therapeutic experience most effective:

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Pregnancy Often Leads to Changes in Migraines

Women who suffer from migraines may notice changes in their headache patterns when they’re pregnant, experts say.

For example, many women will have fewer migraines during pregnancy.

“If you suffer from migraine, there’s a good chance your migraine attacks will improve during pregnancy,” Dr. David Dodick, chair of the American Migraine Foundation, said in a foundation news release.

“Research has shown that 50 to 80 percent of women who have migraine before pregnancy may notice a reduction in migraine attacks, especially in the second and third trimesters, likely due to a rise in estrogen levels,” said Dodick, a professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic School of Medicine in Arizona.

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PTSD ~ Sexual Abuse: When parents fail to believe

I read this captivating book: The Loveless Family by Jon P. Bloch, which described me and my own family to a T.  This paragraph in the book really touched on a nerve, acknowledging how much harm my parents did, not believing me about the sexual abuse.  The wounds haven’t entirely healed and dancing lessons, upscale clothing and oodles of Xmas gifts never swayed my painful memories.

From the book:

“Between children and adults, there may be lifelong disappointment over a child’s failure to meet the parents’ expectations.  The child, in turn, may spend a lifetime fluctuating between guilt for having failed and having resentment for being expected to succeed in the first place.  When parents failed to help when they could and should have – if the child was being sexually abused, for example, and the parents chose not to believe it – the wound may never heal, despite superficial niceties.  Sometimes, too, parents resent never having had their own chance at success.”

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Your first appointment with a Psychiatrist, are you prepared?

Reflecting on my first appointment, I was clearly unprepared and this article would have come in handy.  Bringing someone would have helped immensely, and when the pdoc asked if there were any questions, it would have prevented me from sitting there looking stunned. 

This article was written by: Natasha Tracy on

Recently, someone wrote me and asked how to best handle a first psychiatric appointment. This is a good question because, essentially, people are walking into the vast unknown. If you’ve never seen a psychiatrist before, how could you possibly know what to expect? And, the kicker of that is, the doctor will be asking you why you’re there. So you’re supposed to know what to say when he says that. So how do you handle your first psychiatric appointment?

Write Down What Concerns You Before Your Psychiatric Appointment

Many people get in front of a psychiatrist a freeze, completely forgetting all the issues that brought them there in the first place. This is extremely common. So, before you head off for your first psychiatric appointment write down all your concerns. Everything that has been odd and everything that you think might be odd should go down on the list, with examples.

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Living with Bipolar, living with a short fuse

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This was written on a blog by :

Ever wonder how many people living with bipolar disorder, live with anger and rage issues? I know for myself, I had the proverbial “Short Fuse” in my past.

Yet, having such a short line to my anger and rage caused me more stress, and less productivity. Being angry all the time, I truly believe, it has shorten my life!

I still have bouts with anger, mostly it is at myself.  I think it will be something I’ll always work on.  I’m happy to report the anger and rage that once consumed me years ago is no longer a “short fuse.”


What has helped me the most is the simplest of all techniques. This could be based on the concept of Dr. Richard Carlson, Ph.D, he was the “foremost expert on happiness and stress reduction.” If you don’t know him by name you, surely must of heard of his book, “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff…and It’s All Small Stuff.”.

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9 Important questions to ask at your 1st Therapy Session

A first therapy session can be very intimidating for both therapist and client. But first sessions seem to be more  intimidating to clients because they are unfamiliar with the process, do not know what to expect, aren’t sure if they will like the therapist or office, are anxious about the conversation, and are sometimes fearful of the therapist “psychoanalyzing” them.

That first therapy session could also be the very first time you have ever seen a therapist. Whatever the case, the first session can be so stressful that you forget the most important questions to ask. This article will discuss questions you should be asking during the very first session.

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Yes, shopping at the mall is way more important to me, so what if my kid dies in the car….

Shopping and work means more than anything else in the world to you doesn’t it?

Who leaves their child in a car on a scorching hot day?  Who leaves their dog in a car on a scorching hot day?  Do you think that keeping the window open a crack to let some air in the car in 100 degree heat is going to save your child or dog, Really? Would it help you if you were sitting in the car?

There is no excuse for this.  Too many idiots choose shopping at a store or mall much more important, and for unforgiving reasons leave children or dogs in cars.  Don’t you ever give it one iota of a thought what could happen?  No, you want those clothes, shoes or groceries badly, oh I see.

Why do we have to remind them every year, do they think their children are plastic dolls that they don’t matter?  It only takes tortuous minutes to die.

I bawled when I read this, and couldn’t finish the entire article:

Has a Therapist ever broken your Trust?I

This article was written by: Nicole Lyons on a blog:

A few years ago I was referred to a highly reputable and respected psychologist who, in the midst of writing academic books and journals, also crossed the border on occasion to speak at very prestigious universities. From our first session we got on very well and both acknowledged that our therapist/client relationship would be an effective and suitable one. During our second session he asked me if there was any direction that he shouldn’t take our sessions and I touched on one particular area that I was not comfortable talking about at that time.

Over the course of six months things were great and moving along very well, until they weren’t anymore. My ethical and competent therapist, this highly regarded professional crossed a boundary in such an improper and alarming way that not only was our client/therapist relationship breached, all trust that I had in him was lost instead replaced by fear and suspicion of ever continuing therapy again.

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The Dark Path to Antisocial Personality Disorder

An article in ( reporting on personality disorders, stated, with no lab tests to guide the clinician, psychiatric diagnostics is challenging and controversial.  Antisocial personality disorder is defined as “a pervasive pattern of disregard for, and violation of, the rights of others that begins in childhood or early adolescence and continues into adulthood,” according to the fourth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) of the American Psychiatric Association.

DSM-IV provides formal diagnostic criteria for every psychiatric disorder.  This process may be guided by rating scales that measure the traits and features associated with a personality disorder.  But, until now, no one has studied the dimensional structure associated with the DSM antisocial personality disorder criteria.

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Which psych meds could be causing your weight gain?

You watch what you eat and fit regular workouts into your schedule. So why is the number on your scale going up instead of down? The reason might lie in your bathroom cabinet.“As many as 10% to 15% of weight issues are related to medications,” says Louis Aronne, MD, director of the Comprehensive Weight Control Center at Weill Cornell Medical College.Some meds can make you feel hungrier. Others slow your body’s ability to burn calories or cause you to hold onto extra fluids.The effects aren’t the same for everybody, though. “One person might gain 15 pounds on one drug. Another might not gain anything,” Aronne says.If you suspect the medicines that you take are behind your weight gain, don’t go off them before you talk to your doctor. “You might need to be on that drug to save your life,” says Donald Waldrep, MD, co-director of The Center for Weight Loss Surgery at Los Robles Hospital. You may be able to switch to another medication, including one that can even help you shed pounds. If not, your doctor can suggest what you should do to offset the weight gain.

“There’s evidence that a low-carb diet and more exercise may help,” says Sue DeCotiis, MD, a board-certified internist who specializes in medical weight loss.

Below are some types of medicines that may be the cause of your expanding waistline. It’s not a complete list, so speak to your doctor if you have any concerns about your prescriptions.

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You Didn’t Follow Me Home

Originally posted on From The Busy Mind of Josephine:

You didn’t follow me home that evening

You didn’t care if I left

There wasn’t a moment I clamored for thoughts

That you didn’t leave me bereft.

You didn’t carry me home that evening

Didn’t watch as I fell

You always stay just out of reach

Maybe to forgo some hell?

You didn’t come home with me that evening

You didn’t watch me undress

There was no more love in your life any longer

No willingness for us to progress.

Maybe you’re frightened like I am

Maybe you’re just to convinced

All of us women are just out to get you

And the feeling just made you wince.

You didn’t follow me home that evening

So I walked away like I should.

A woman in glory with just enough perseverance

Knows your heart is made of wood.

You didn’t care if I looked like I did

You didn’t care how…

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WHY…..and mental illness

 WHYAnd Mental Illness

        *       Why will we always have to accept that mental illness stigma will exist in our society, and we must continue to remain tight-lipped about this illness.  The outside world cannot fathom to the degree of the stamina, strength and what we have sacrificed in our lives.  Yet, we must live under a veil of secrecy for fear of reprisal in society and especially in the real working world.  Somewhat of a prejudice, for if another major illness was presented, there would be no problem.

 *       Why are we perceived as having a character flaw; what does that have to do with the illness?

 *       Why do people with mental illness, namely bipolar disorder, stop taking their medications when they begin to feel better?  It’s comparable to someone with heart disease, and whose blood pressure is finally under control.  Would he/she then stop taking the heart meds?  This doesn’t make sense.

 *       Why do some psychiatrists think they know everything, yet prove otherwise when we continue to remain unwell for years and years?

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Migraine surgery for Teens

As in adults, migraine surgery is effective for selected adolescent patients with severe migraine headaches that don’t respond to standard treatments, reports a study in the June issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery®, the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).

ASPS Member Surgeon Bahman Guyuron, MD, Emeritus professor of plastic surgery at Case School of Medicine, Cleveland, and colleagues report good outcomes in an initial experience with migraine surgery in younger patients. They write, “Our data demonstrate that surgery for refractory migraine headaches in the adolescent population may improve and potentially completely ameliorate symptoms for some.”

Young Patients Can Benefit from Migraine Surgery Too

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Are you the Black Sheep in your family? I know I sure was

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That was me, the black sheep in our family of four. There was only me and my brother, he was treated like gold while I….you get the picture.

On their blog, this article, written by: Jonice Webb, Ph.D, explains:

I’ve met many Black Sheep. It’s my job.

In a recent post called Black Sheep, I talked about some common myths, and how Black Sheep are not what they appear to be. Surprisingly, they are simply a product of family dynamics.

But today, Black Sheep, I have three messages just for you:

1. Research Supports You Continue reading