“Stigma: A distinguishing mark of social disgrace…”
i have to be honest; i can’t stand that word. even when i was studying psychology in college (before being diagnosed with depression and anxiety disorders) i always wondered who came up with that word. without knowing its definition it just SOUNDS degrading.
people tend to put down/stereotype/make assumptions about things they don’t understand or things they fear. but last i checked, depression and anxiety were just as natural as breathing. everyone, even those who don’t have a formal diagnosis experience it at one point or another for various reasons. sure, they don’t stay in that dark place like some others do, but that means they probably have the ability to help someone out of their darkness… they just don’t know it, or are unwilling to do it. they have the strength to strike down stigma at its source with courage.
but so do those who have struggled and continue to with depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts. bravery & courage in spite of those things kills the disease of stigma. to be a bit over the top with it, it punches ignorance dead in the face and allows it to spin 180 to the truth. ignorance is not bliss in this case. people must be made aware of the serious effects of depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts. they also must take notice of people who have succeeded against the odds.
for example consider Drew Carey, a successful TV host and actor who attempted suicide on two occasions…. consider J.K. Rowling, the Harry Potter author who at one point thought suicide was an option… consider Pete Wentz, Fall Out Boy bassist/musician who struggles with bipolar disorder… consider Ricky Williams, former NFL running back who struggled with social anxiety disorder.. consider family and friends who are overcoming struggles as well.. consider me, who’s been diagnosed, attempted, still struggles sometimes but gets up and takes things one day at a time… consider yourself. you’re still here… and for a damn good reason. we are all stigma killers; and you can be too, survivors.