“Stigma” begins with a “D”

“Stigma” sucks.

“Anti-stigma” sucks big time.

The fatal flaw in  all of  the latest crop of “Anti Stigma Campaigns” is that they have lots of money and no clue what to spend it on.
So they turn to fancy ad agencies who come up with fancy ad campaigns that basically funnel people into “treatment” – which is a euphemism for drugs and a paucity of  other options unless they operate as an adjunct to “improve the effectiveness” of the drugs.
In some hospitals and clinics,  doctors are actually prevented by policy and protocol, from offering options other than drugs and electrocution therapy.

I have no issue with people choosing to take drugs or whatever else works for them – its not a moral issue its and none of my business.
I extend to you the same rights I claim for, and enjoy, myself.

What I do have difficulty with is patients being lied to by doctors, services and society: “its a chemical imbalance”, “its like insulin for diabetes” etc, are all part of the  drugs-for-life doctrine we swallow like, er… pills

And, you know,  we don’t have to.

There is a role for meds but its not the “everything role” that we give them now.

The current crop of “anti-stigma” ad campaigns basically diagnose people [again] who don’t ask for help as a drain on society and a threat to the survival of human-kind.

Then, because blamestorming  is the strategy,  those same people will be told that they are “self-stigmatising”.

The result is yet more blame, heaped upon blame, heaped upon people who are already amongst those most excluded from and most suffering within our society(s).

In the end stigmatising of people is real, it hurts, it corrodes and crushes souls – and not just the souls of those against whom it is directed, but the collective soul of all humanity.

But, where does “stigma” reside?

“Stigma” is not in my mind but rather within the mind of those who think I’m less than human .

I carry no “stigma”, its not mine to carry : its your discrimination.

The nub of the issue is this: we don’t know how to say the word

Stigma begins with a “D” 
and is pronounced: “Discrimination”

– Dave Umbongo

Stigma begins with D

About this post.

The ideas in this post were developed in conversations in online support groups that have global membership.

The graphic first appeared in the excellent Positive Mental Health Group, hosted by the excellent Barrie Wylie. The words are those of Dave Umbongo. He’s happy for you to share it,  sharing is its purpose, when you share his stuff my life is quieter in a good way.

The substantial part of the text above the graphic emerged only a few days ago in a dialogue thread in the excellent Un-Diagnosing Emotional Health, hosted by the excellent  Corinna West .
[And thanks to Corinna to prodding me into realising that  an idea we’d been mulling on for a while now was ready to share.] 

you can go check em both out via the links  below….


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8 Responses to “Stigma” begins with a “D”

  1. Darby Penney says:

    Thanks so much for writing this! I’ve been saying this for at least the last 20 years and mostly people rolled their eyes. I’m so glad you wrote this and it is spreading like wildfire!


  2. Suzan Kennedy says:

    Wonderful post! Such truth in your words. Thank you for what you do! Suzan


  3. Loreen Lee says:

    Excellent article(s), for I also read the one’s that were provided with a link, (as usual).


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