Day 20 - A Miracle Cure for Stigma

April 20, 2012

HAWMC Day #20: Miracle Cure. Write a news-style article on a miracle cure. What’s the cure? How do you get the cure? Be sure to include a disclaimer

*DISCLAIMER* Except for the discovery by "scientists," this story is actually true!  There is a cure for stigma, but it involves all of us working together to rediscover love and acceptance.  

Mentally Ill People Rejoice-No More Stigma!

Scientists have discovered that just as mental illness is primarily a disease of the brain, prejudice and its evil twin daughters, stigma and shame, are diseases of the heart.  They are communicable diseases that often start in the family.  The root cause of the illness seems to be fear of the unknown.  Prejudice, stigma, and shame can tear families apart and it sends many people to jail.  Fear of what people will think, also known as stigma, causes many people with mental illness to not seek the help they need.

Fortunately, there is a cure and it is love.  Love gives people the strength to turn away from fear and to embrace recovery. Love opens people’s hearts to new possibilities and broadens it with empathy.  This empathy breeds acceptance and abolishes shame.  With shame gone, those with mental illness are free to explore recovery and to accept help.  With love and acceptance, neuro-typical people are glad to offer help, provide support, and yet are willing to provide space too when needed.  Another outcome of this cure is that positive communication between the two groups of people are increased a hundredfold. 

The one drawback to this cure is that it requires a lot of work.  Love is at times painful and the task of accepting another’s illness or the illness in one’s self stretches a person beyond their supposed capabilities.  There will be many mistakes and misunderstandings, but if we, as a people, are really passionate about becoming better people, than we will take the time to pursue love, openness and acceptance.  These things may not do away with mental illness, but they would lead the people to understand that mental illness is not the enemy.  Mental illness is something that causes extreme hurt, but it also causes extreme growth and for those who live with it daily, it is a part of their being.  Curing their mental illness would erase a part of who they are.  It is the belief of these scientists that a far more productive goal is the removal of prejudice, stigma, and shame and embracing instead a healthy life in recovery.

Here are my links:

Womanist Musings - Born With A Burden: Are Black, Disabled Children Being Mistreated?

Doctors and nurses are all a part of our faulty society and though they are charged with caring for those in need,  because they have been steeped in a world which places unequal value to people based on race, this means any interaction between medical staff and disabled people of colour must be examined through a lens of both disability and race.

Scientists develop first blood test to diagnose depression

One of the major goals of identifying biomarkers for depression is once you can measure it in a similar way as you would diabetes, you are at least partially removing the stigma, because it’s very difficult to say something like, ‘Get yourself together and control your liver function,” Redei said.  “It’s something you can objectively detect and follow and bring into the realm of medicine.”

“In the future, we could be able to define depression much more profoundly and clearly with a blood test,” Redei said.  “It could explain why some drugs work for some patients and not for others.  It’s also could help develop new types of antidepressants.  Right now, we are guessing.  Even the best psychiatrists can’t do anything but prescribe one to three different types of drugs or treatments based on prior experience and trial-and-error.”

Read more:

Yin and Yang - How Psychotic AmI? 

Still I believe that mental illness and recovery from mental illness is a psycho-spiritual process, one that requires that you stand up for yourself.  If you don't stand up for yourself, for your basic goodness, there's a good chance that you could be swallowed whole by the negative aspects of the illness. […]  Instead of internalizing the core of the sickness, hurting myself and possibly others, I learned to detach and defend the part of me I loved.

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