Stigma in language

Embracing Pride and the LGBT+ Community in Recovery

Tessa Torgeson shares her personal experience as a member of the LGBT+ community who is also in recovery from addiction. “For myself, the intersections of addiction and LGBT identity are so complex… We weren't given the social or political power to have public space. So, bars and underground clubs were our space... so addiction can sometimes become a learned behavior. For me, it was alcohol. I used it to suppress my identity.”

How ageist attitudes affect mental health assessment and treatment of older adults? (Video)

How ageist attitudes affect mental health assessment and treatment of older adults? (Video)

Ehud Bodner discusses how ageism affects behavioral health treatment for older adults, both historically and today. Click Read More to access the full video and read some of our favorite quotes from his TED Talk.

Stigma and Older Adults

This Distorted Perceptions original article explores the intersection of ageism and behavioral health stigmas, and the “double challenges” that can result for older adults with behavioral health conditions. In summary, both stigmas are alive and well, and although positive cultural changes are beginning to occur we must “address the stigma of being an older person in a culture that under-values aging, as well as the stigma of being someone with a behavioral health challenge in a culture that views those challenges with fear and contempt.”

How Schizophrenia Became a Black Disease: An Interview with Jonathan Metzl

“Before the 60s, Ionia doctors viewed schizophrenia as an illness that afflicted nonviolent, white, petty criminals, including the hospital's considerable population of women from rural Michigan… By the mid- to late-1960s, however, schizophrenia was a diagnosis disproportionately applied to the hospital's growing population of African American men from urban Detroit. Perhaps the most shocking evidence I uncovered was that hospital charts "diagnosed" these men in part because of their symptoms, but also because of their connections to the civil rights movement.” Click the title for the entire article by Psychology Today.

Stigmatization of Eating Disorders

Gina Dimitropoulos’s paper for Canada’s National Eating Disorder Information Centre highlights some great information on the distorted perceptions held in public and professional spheres, the consequences that these negative attitudes can have for individuals experiencing eating disorders, and tips for challenging internalized stigma and stigma in the public, professional, and family roles.

An Abbotsford student’s view of addictions and losing stigma

After working with a local network of current and former drug users, 18 year old Max Kerr realized that he had many distorted perceptions towards homelessness and addiction. “When I came to my first meeting I kind of just kept to myself, and I was really nervous. I didn’t entirely want to shake people’s hands because all the perceptions I had were: homeless people are grimy, they’re dirty. And anyone I told about this, they said ‘Well, be careful that they don’t try to manipulate you into giving them money or drugs or something,’” he said. “As soon as I met them, I knew that my perception of them was wrong. I think a lot of people probably know that, too, but they don’t listen to that thought,” he said. Are you seeing clearly? Refocus and look again. Click the title for the entire story from The Abbotsford News.

Facing homelessness | Rex Hohlbein | TEDxRainier VIDEO

In this TEDtalk, Rex Hohlbein gives some insight into the experience of being homeless. Rex is creator of Facing Homelessness, a nonprofit Seattle, Washington. The video is about 17 minutes long, but every minute is worth the watch! “‘When you live outside, it may appear that you are mingling with everyone else. But in fact you are not, you are separated out behind a giant Plexiglas divider, and the only people that you get to talk with are those who are also living non-normal lives behind the Plexiglas.’ And then it occurred to me- When we walk past someone who is suffering on the street without acknowledging them we are creating our own Plexiglas.”