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Tuesday, March 10, 2015

How To Stop Stigmas

(Clever intro line goes here.)

I've had to deal with quite a few people lately who know the inner most workings of my mind. I've had to send in my psych records to be reviewed by nameless, faceless people who will decide if I meet their standards of "disabled." Every time I get the ever-cryptic letters from the government, I have to call the office and talk to some (inevitably) pre-judgmental drone who assumes I'm going to yell or pitch a fit. These lovely people always have their guard up in preparation for said assumed fit-pitching and often strike preemptively.

Side note: not every person who works there is cranky, assuming, or, well, your basic government worker.

ANYWAY... I was thinking about why people have this reaction to anyone labeled as "mentally ill," and I just came back to what I had said before: those with mental illness are creating the stigmas they're fighting. People treat us this way because of how our predecessors acted (not to mention the lack of trying on the currents' part). I've said it before, I'll say it again, and again until stigmas are gone:

Having a mental illness does not excuse you from having manners!

I'm probably going to be alone in this, but I'm still going to challenge everyone to change the stigmas, not by marching, protesting, or shouting, but by simply using manners. I don't care how you feel on the inside, be polite. You don't need to smile/laugh/joke, but I'm going to tell you right now, with the rampant mental illness in the world, the checker at the shop you just yelled at is, most likely, also a sufferer. Just think of what Thumper says in Bambi: "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all."

Now for an appropriate song. Well, appropriate for the time of year, anyway.

"Winter's On The Wing (From The Secret Garden)"~ Original Broadway Cast

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