Currently, I’m attending a seminar somewhere in the German-speaking part of Switzerland. In English, it’s called “Coming out Proud” – It’s all about stigma, understanding it, and holding against it – with empowerment. However, I really don’t want to go through the material of that seminar with you. But I’d like to point out two or three things that are essential to me.
Stigma makes us feel bad – Whether it is the stigma impressed on us by others or, in my opinion, more dangerous, the stigma we impose on ourselves. The stigma within can be very deep-rooted, as I know from experience. Stigma from a group directed against any other group – in this case, the mentally ill – may lead to mobbing and further discrimination of members of that group. I also observe that being stigmatized doesn’t make people immune to stigmatizing other groups. For example, mentally ill people may, like other parts of society, still discriminate against foreigners. Did you make any observations like this?
Photo by Melanie Wasser on Unsplash
On my Recovery Journey, I understand that if I don’t want to be baffled by stigma any longer, I need to resolve the issues around my personally inflicted stigma. That is a long-haul project! Empowerment looks like the right tool for it. For me, it’s pretty crucial to walk on a self-directed path. So there’s a chance my self-esteem is increasing because things I choose to do are going well.
It”s a work to be continued that, of course, also involves setbacks, just as each individual’s Recovery Journey as a whole. So, a few days from now, I’ll attend the last few hours of that seminar. I’m glad I joined in there because it made me more aware of these hot issues on mental health.
Thank you for reading! You can also check out this post on the issue if you like. I wrote it right at the start of this blog in 2014.