Stigma Quotes

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Quotes About Stigma
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117 Mental Illness Stigma Sayings - Ideal for use in bathrooms
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Quotes About Stigma


“It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences.” Audre Lorde, Our Dead Behind Us: Poems

“When you come out of the grips of a depression there is an incredible relief, but not one you feel allowed to celebrate. Instead, the feeling of victory is replaced with anxiety that it will happen again, and with shame and vulnerability when you see how your illness affected your family, your work, everything left untouched while you struggled to survive. We come back to life thinner, paler, weaker … but as survivors. Survivors who don’t get pats on the back from coworkers who congratulate them on making it. Survivors who wake to more work than before because their friends and family are exhausted from helping them fight a battle they may not even understand. I hope to one day see a sea of people all wearing silver ribbons as a sign that they understand the secret battle, and as a celebration of the victories made each day as we individually pull ourselves up out of our foxholes to see our scars heal, and to remember what the sun looks like.” Jenny Lawson, Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things

Mental illness
People assume you aren’t sick
unless they see the sickness on your skin
like scars forming a map of all the ways you’re hurting.

My heart is a prison of Have you tried?s
Have you tried exercising? Have you tried eating better?
Have you tried not being sad, not being sick?
Have you tried being more like me?
Have you tried shutting up?

Yes, I have tried. Yes, I am still trying,
and yes, I am still sick.

Sometimes monsters are invisible, and
sometimes demons attack you from the inside.
Just because you cannot see the claws and the teeth
does not mean they aren’t ripping through me.
Pain does not need to be seen to be felt.

Telling me there is no problem
won’t solve the problem.

This is not how miracles are born.
This is not how sickness works.”

Emm Roy, The First Step

 

Attitude Is Everything

We live in a culture that is blind to betrayal and intolerant of emotional pain. In New Age crowds here on the West Coast, where your attitude is considered the sole determinant of the impact an event has on you, it gets even worse.In these New Thought circles, no matter what happens to you, it is assumed that you have created your own reality. Not only have you chosen the event, no matter how horrible, for your personal growth. You also chose how you interpret what happened—as if there are no interpersonal facts, only interpretations.

The upshot of this perspective is that your suffering would vanish if only you adopted a more evolved perspective and stopped feeling aggrieved. I was often kindly reminded (and believed it myself), “there are no victims.” How can you be a victim when you are responsible for your circumstances?

When you most need validation and support to get through the worst pain of your life, to be confronted with the well-meaning, but quasi-religious fervor of these insidious half-truths can be deeply demoralizing. This kind of advice feeds guilt and shame, inhibits grieving, encourages grandiosity and can drive you to be alone to shield your vulnerability.” - Sandra Lee Dennis

“We are never more fully alive, more completely ourselves, or more deeply engrossed in anything, than when we are at play.” Charles E. Schaefer

“Calling it lunacy makes it easier to explain away the things we don't understand.” - Megan Chance, The Spiritualist

“You see, people in the depressive position are often stigmatised as ‘failures' or ‘losers'. Of course, nothing could be further from the truth. If these people are in the depressive position, it is most probably because they have tried too hard or taken on too much, so hard and so much that they have made themselves ‘ill with depression'. In other words, if these people are in the depressive position, it is because their world was simply not good enough for them. They wanted more, they wanted better, and they wanted different, not just for themselves, but for all those around them. So if they are failures or losers, this is only because they set the bar far too high. They could have swept everything under the carpet and pretended, as many people do, that all is for the best in the best of possible worlds. But unlike many people, they had the honesty and the strength to admit that something was amiss, that something was not quite right. So rather than being failures or losers, they are just the opposite: they are ambitious, they are truthful, and they are courageous. And that is precisely why they got ‘ill'. To make them believe that they are suffering from some chemical imbalance in the brain and that their recovery depends solely or even mostly on popping pills is to do them a great disfavour: it is to deny them the precious opportunity not only to identify and address important life problems, but also to develop a deeper and more refined appreciation of themselves and of the world around them—and therefore to deny them the opportunity to fulfil their highest potential as human beings.” - Neel Burton

“Bad enough to be ill, but to feel compelled to deny the very thing that, in its worst and most active state, defines you is agony indeed.” - Sally Brampton, Shoot the Damn Dog: A Memoir of Depression

“We are not easy to help. Nor are we easy to be around. Nobody with a serious illness is easy to be around. Although not obviously physically disabled, we struggle to get things done. Our energy levels are dangerously low. Sometimes, we find it hard to talk. We get angry and frustrated. We fall into despair. We cry, for no apparent reason. Sometimes we find it difficult to eat, or to sleep. Often, we have to go to bed in the afternoon or all day.

So do most people with a serious illness. We are no different.” - Sally Brampton, Shoot the Damn Dog: A Memoir of Depression

“The stigmatized individual is asked to act so as to imply neither that his burden is heavy nor that bearing it has made him different from us; at the same time he must keep himself at that remove from us which assures our painlessly being able to confirm this belief about him. Put differently, he is advised to reciprocate naturally with an acceptance of himself and us, an acceptance of him that we have not quite extended to him in the first place. A PHANTOM ACCEPTANCE is thus allowed to provide the base for a PHANTOM NORMALCY.” - Erving Goffman, Stigma: Notes on the Management of Spoiled Identity

“Mental illness" is among the most stigmatized of categories.' People are ashamed of being mentally ill. They fear disclosing their condition to their friends and confidants-and certainly to their employers.” - Elyn R. Saks, Refusing Care: Forced Treatment and the Rights of the Mentally Ill

“One century's saint is the next century's heretic ... and one century's heretic is the next century's saint. It is as well to think long and calmly before affixing either name to any man.” - Ellis Peters, The Heretic's Apprentice

“...the issue becomes not whether a person has experience with a stigma of his own, because he has, but rather how many varieties he has had his own experience with.” - Erving Goffman, Stigma: Notes on the Management of Spoiled Identity

“Like a lot of people with mental illness, I spend a lot of time fronting. It’s really important to me to not appear crazy, to fit in, to seem normal, to do the things “normal people” do, to blend in.

As a defense mechanism, fronting makes a lot of sense, and you hone that mechanism after years of being crazy. Fronting is what allows you to hold down a job and maintain relationships with people, it’s the thing that sometimes keeps you from falling apart. It’s the thing that allows you to have a burst of tears in the shower or behind the front seat of your car and then coolly collect yourself and stroll into a social engagement…

We are rewarded for hiding ourselves. We become the poster children for “productive” mentally ill people, because we are so organized and together. The fact that we can function, at great cost to ourselves, is used to beat up the people who cannot function.

Because unlike the people who cannot front, or who fronted too hard and fell off the cliff, we are able to “keep it together,” whatever it takes.” - S. E. Smith

“I have never seen battles quite as terrifyingly beautiful as the ones I fight when my mind splinters and races, to swallow me into my own madness, again.” - Nicole Lyons, Hush

“Here I want to stress that perception of losing one’s mind is based on culturally derived and socially ingrained stereotypes as to the significance of symptoms such as hearing voices, losing temporal and spatial orientation, and sensing that one is being followed, and that many of the most spectacular and convincing of these symptoms in some instances psychiatrically signify merely a temporary emotional upset in a stressful situation, however terrifying to the person at the time. Similarly, the anxiety consequent upon this perception of oneself, and the strategies devised to reduce this anxiety, are not a product of abnormal psychology, but would be exhibited by any person socialized into our culture who came to conceive of himself as someone losing his mind.” - Erving Goffman, Asylums: Essays on the Social Situation of Mental Patients and Other Inmates

“Being stigmatied by sex is being marked by its meaning in a human life of loneliness and imperfection, where some pain is indelible.” - Andrea Dworkin, Intercourse

“Success and failure can both make you lose appetite and concentration, don't let it bother or over-excite you, just think them away as a mere thing that had just happened, and get along with your life.” - Michael Bassey Johnson

“In reviewing his own moral career, the stigmatized individual may single out and retrospectively elaborate experiences which serve for him to account for his coming to the beliefs and practices that he now has regarding his own kind and normals.” - Erving Goffman

“Of course, I should have known the kids would pop out in the atmosphere of Roberta's office. That's what they do when Alice is under stress. They see a gap in the space-time continuum and slip through like beams of light through a prism changing form and direction. We had got into the habit in recent weeks of starting our sessions with that marble and stick game called Ker-Plunk, which Billy liked. There were times when I caught myself entering the office with a teddy that Samuel had taken from the toy cupboard outside.

Roberta told me that on a couple of occasions I had shot her with the plastic gun and once, as Samuel, I had climbed down from the high-tech chairs, rolled into a ball in the corner and just cried.

'This is embarrassing,' I admitted.

'It doesn't have to be.'

'It doesn't have to be, but it is,' I said.

The thing is. I never knew when the 'others' were going to come out. I only discovered that one had been out when I lost time or found myself in the midst of some wacky occupation — finger-painting like a five-year-old, cutting my arms, wandering from shops with unwanted, unpaid-for clutter.

In her reserved way, Roberta described the kids as an elaborate defence mechanism. As a child, I had blocked out my memories in order not to dwell on anything painful or uncertain. Even as a teenager, I had allowed the bizarre and terrifying to seem normal because the alternative would have upset the fiction of my loving little nuclear family.

I made a mental note to look up defence mechanisms, something we had touched on in psychology.” - Alice Jamieson, Today I'm Alice: Nine Personalities, One Tortured Mind

“We have a genuine and devastating epidemic of opiate abuse in this country, and it is of critical importance that this problem be addressed. But we must do so in a way that doesn’t cut off an effective (and often the only) treatment for the chronically ill, many of whom are able to function in this world at all only because of the small respite that responsible opiate use provides.” - Michael Bihovsky

“the media coverage of the ‘opiate epidemic’ as driven by pill pushing-doctors and by pain patients worries me a lot, and I think it is already being used to forward the idea that people in chronic pain should not have access to relief from their pain.” - Anita Gupta

“Sometimes, this disapproval of how you are managing your pain crosses over to disbelief that you are in as much pain as you say you are. They don’t believe that your pain is a legitimate enough reason to rest or nap or cry or take narcotic medications or not go to work or to go to the doctor. They might think that you are making too big of a deal out of it. They doubt the legitimacy of the pain itself.

This kind of stigma is the source of the dreaded accusation that chronic pain is “all in your head.” It’s as if to say that you are making a mountain out of a molehill.” - Murray J. McAlister

“The stigma of chronic pain is one of the most difficult aspects of living with chronic pain. If you have chronic pain, people can sometimes judge you for it.” - Murray J. McAlister

“The stigma of mental illness is first and foremost a social justice issue!” - Patrick W. Corrigan, Challenging the Stigma of Mental Illness: Lessons for Therapists and Advocates

“What mental health needs is more sunlight, more candor, more unashamed conversation about illnesses that affect not only individuals, but their families as well.” - Glenn Close

“Imagine you’re diagnosed with epilepsy: what would you think if you weren’t referred to a specialist but taken to a psychiatrist to treat you for your ‘false illness beliefs’?

This is what happens to Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) patients in the UK. They are told to ignore their symptoms, view themselves as healthy, and increase their exercise. The NHS guidelines amalgamate ME and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, assuming symptoms are caused by deconditioning and ‘exercise phobia’. Sufferers are offered Graded Exercise to increase fitness, and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) to rid them of their ‘false illness beliefs’.” - Tanya Marlow

“With a strange logic, [Rod Liddle] asserts that because ME patients deny that they have a psychiatric disorder, this proves they have a psychiatric disorder.

Meanwhile, people are quietly dying of ME. ME sufferer Emily Collingridge died, aged 30; Victoria Webster died at just 18. People don’t die from ‘exercise phobia’. ME is not ‘lethargy’ and ‘aches and pains’, as Liddle claims. Severe ME is lying in a darkened room, alone, in agonising pain, tube-fed, catheterised, too weak to move or speak.” - Tanya Marlow

“M.E. isn't just 'exercise phobia': it is a physical illness.” - Tanya Marlow

“self-stigma is not a person's fault; nor is it a part of the person's illness!

If the public did not hold negative and stigmatizing attitudes in the first place, these would never have become internalized, causing people the painful and disabling experience of self-stigma.” - Patrick W. Corrigan, Challenging the Stigma of Mental Illness: Lessons for Therapists and Advocates

Source: www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/stigma

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