Whenever there is official or institutionalised discussion of mental illness, it is not long before the issue of mental health stigma comes up – asserting that it is widespread and a major problem for those in severe mental distress. I hate this talk and see it as yet one manifestation of the widespread ignorance around the nature of mental problems.
Listen to this Seventh Audio of the “Wellbeing” series and you can also read the accompanying blog post.
Listen/download to my audio: The myth of mental illness stigma and celebrating our common humanity
Read my Depression Help Blog post: The myth of mental illness stigma and celebrating our common humanity
1: Human Givens Organising Idea
Audio 2: Emotions not Thoughts
Audio 3: Flexibly webbed
Audio 4: Healing Emotions
Audio 5: Privacy and Depression
Audio 6: A life without Attention
Audio 7: Mental Health Stigma
Audio 8: The Observing Self
In the field of mental illness, there is almost total ignorance. There is still no medical or chemical marker for any so called mental illness. There is no evidence for the use of medication that would ever be accepted for the equivalent treatment of physical illnesses. And of course those who are enduring mental difficulties are often helpless and confused by their dependence on medical personnel and the medical model of mental illness.
And for the treatment of depression specifically, the NHS is almost completely bereft of wisdom and authority and is attempting to do something that is in fact against its nature.
So ignorance is everywhere – both by those suffering and by society in general. And how does it help those that suffer to stay ignorant and to focus on this ignorance by feeding fears of mental heaslth stigma and discrimination?
The idea of discrimination and mental health or mental illness stigma means focusing on differences and having a very narrow view of equality and indeed injustice. That as a result it will be our differences that define us rather than our common humanity and that the differences between us as we split in logic into smaller and smaller groupings are only seen through the prism of inequality, injustice and unfairness. And if this is not handled well and it surely is not being held well now, it will lead to the exact opposite of what is intended.