Silence Kills -- The Stigma of Mental Illness Redux

It's Mental Health Month again.  Out comes the stigma word, the pleas for understanding, the heart-warming whatever.

I am so done with stigma. Frankly, I am insulted that NAMI et al still use the word.  Is Black Lives Matter about stigma?  It's dangerous to be either in the US, and for the same reason. Prejudice, people.  We are talking about prejudice.


The following was first posted in July 2013.  Alas, we are still trying to get our heads out of our asses.  The Affordable Care Act made some progress, a little, toward mental health parity.  Insurers had to get creative to deny us coverage. But this congressional session, it's all up for grabs again, whether our illness will get covered at all.  And the prejudice of doctors -- don't get me started.

So from July, 2013 --

                              *************************

I don't use the s-word.  I hate this title. I use it only because people who need this post will use it when they google.

I don't use the s-word.  But here it is.

First from Google:

Definition of STIGMA

Noun
  1. A mark of disgrace associated with a particular circumstance, quality, or person: <the stigma of mental disorder>.


April is the Cruelest Month


I opened my curtain this morning, saw a brilliant blue sky, and remembered, "April is the cruelest month..."  April is when suicide rates start to rise, to peak in June. Then, as is my habit, I said Morning Prayer, a spiritual discipline of prayers, psalms and bible readings. The assigned psalm for today is Psalm 20:


May the LORD answer you in the day of trouble,
the Name of the God of Jacob defend you;
Send you help from his holy place
and strengthen you out of Zion;
Remember all your offerings
and accept your burnt sacrifice;
Grant you your heart's desire
and prosper all your plans.
We will shout for joy at your victory
and triumph in the Name of our God;
May the LORD grant all your requests.

If April is the cruelest month for you, my friend, I prayed this prayer for you.  Now, this sort of thing doesn't always help me. And no blame, God, no blame, if it doesn't help you.  But if it does help you today, there it is.  We will shout for joy, you and me and all of us who know what I am talking about, at your victory.

And while I have anybody else's attention, suicide prevention is not usually a dramatic, last minute intervention.  Suicide happens when pain exceeds resources for coping with pain. Let me repeat that.  Suicide happens when pain exceeds resources for coping with pain.  Every day, in any little way, you are a resource.  Or not.  Kindness.  That's the ticket.  Just pay attention to someone who may be struggling.  And do something, anything kind.

That's all.

Popular Posts