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Common Transgender Myths People Believe

Common Transgender Myths People Believe

There are common transgender myths people believe. With recent events thrusting transgendered individuals into the spotlight, my Facebook page has lit up with comments on the subject. A common thread of the transphobic posts is based on common transgender myths people believe. Here are three of the most common transgender myths people believe.

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Internalizing What Other People Think of Bipolar Disorder

Internalizing What Other People Think of Bipolar Disorder

If you’ve read some of the comments here, you know what some other people think of bipolar disorder. Some people think that those with bipolar are manipulative, angry, abusive and some even say we’re downright evil. And it’s easy to internalize what others think of bipolar disorder. It’s easy to believe we are these things. But you are worth more than a single, negative descriptor. You are not what other people think of bipolar disorder.

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Break the Self-Harm Stigma with Bright Color

Break the Self-Harm Stigma with Bright Color

Did you know you can break the stigma of self-harm with bright colors? Many people who are not educated about self-harm often picture the addiction in a cliché light. Some may think those who self-harm always wear dark clothing, seclude themselves and are suicidal. Of course, those are simply stigmas that the world has unfortunately thrown at people who self-harm. Since everyone has his or her own story of struggle, you must break the self-harm stigma and get to know the addiction without cliché expectations. One way to break the self-harm stigma is with bright colors.

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Reclaiming “Borderline” to Reduce Stigma

Reclaiming “Borderline” to Reduce Stigma

I’m very open about my condition. I even write about it on Facebook and volunteer information in class. And I like calling myself “a borderline.” The peculiar self-reference is deliberate. For a while I subscribed to the idea that we are not our diseases—we are not borderline, we have borderline—and to be fair, I still do; however, I also think there’s power in language and have decided to reclaim “borderline” to reduce stigma.

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A Stigma-Free Halloween

A Stigma-Free Halloween

It’s Halloween, and for mental health consumers, it can be an isolating time. The stigma of mental illness is reinforced with every “haunted asylum” attraction, “hanging man” decoration and “mental health patient” costume. More Than Borderline‘s Becky Oberg talks about how Halloween often reinforces negative stereotypes about mental health consumers, such as “they’re violent,” “they’re deranged,” and “they have no control over their actions.”

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Are Some Mental Illnesses More Stigmatized Than Others?

Are Some Mental Illnesses More Stigmatized Than Others?

Recently I sat on a panel of mental health consumers. Our goal was to educate people about mental illness through drama and a question-and-answer session. When it came my turn to speak, I said that some mental illnesses were more stigmatized than others, fully knowing this would be controversial. Much to my surprise, I saw several heads nodding in agreement!

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Mental Illness Validation: Tell Me ‘I Believe You’

Mental Illness Validation: Tell Me ‘I Believe You’

Mental illnesses and the symptoms they cause can sometimes put us in a great deal of pain. We have a need to share our pain with others. There’s just a desire in us for people we care about to know that we’re hurting (The Stigmatization of Your Emotions). We want them to know so they can comfort us, reassure us, and take care of us.

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Government Aid, Stigma, and Mental Illness Treatment

Government Aid, Stigma, and Mental Illness Treatment

If you haven’t seen Kristen Bell’s take on a minimum wage versus a living wage, you need to. But regardless of where you stand on the issue, there’s a side that isn’t being told–life below the poverty line while on Social Security Disability. Did you know that a person with the maximum disability benefits receives less than a full-time minimum wage earner? Or that 80% of mental health consumers are unemployed?

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Top 10 Ways to Reduce Mental Health Stigma

Top 10 Ways to Reduce Mental Health Stigma

Stigma is one of the most challenging aspects of mental illness. A report by the President’s New Freedom Commission states:

Stigma refers to a cluster of negative attitudes and beliefs that motivate the general public to fear, reject, avoid, and discriminate against people with mental illnesses. Stigma is widespread in the United States and other Western nations . . . It leads to low self-esteem, isolation, and hopelessness. It deters the public from seeking and wanting to pay for care. Responding to stigma, people with mental health problems internalize public attitudes and become so embarrassed or ashamed that they often conceal symptoms and fail to seek treatment.

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You Are a “Person Struggling with Self-Harm” – Not a “Self-Harmer”

You Are a “Person Struggling with Self-Harm” – Not a “Self-Harmer”

When I took special education classes in college, we often talked about Person First Language. We sometimes use the labels directed at us as a way to describe who we are when, in reality, we should not see ourselves as that disorder, disability or struggle. Person First Language brings forward the importance in recognizing the person you are before the label.

Labels, in general, are not always positive. They do help define certain situations that need to be addressed, but they also separate us from one another. Sometimes, a label can break a friendship or make others look at you in a different light. Judgments often occur when someone is labeled with a disorder or a disability and, sadly, it’s difficult to push those thoughts away.

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