Stigma Lies. Mental Illness Isn’t Who You Are

HealthyPlace Mental Health Newsletter

Here's what's happening on the HealthyPlace site this week:

Stigma Lies. Mental Illness Isn’t Who You Are

stigma-lies-healthyplace-2The word stigma is a detestable word. It exudes hatred and misunderstanding. To be stigmatized, to face stigma, is to be judged not for who you are but for a misunderstood label.

Mental Illness Diagnosis Beginning of Facing Stigma

Mental health challenges are common. It takes strength to seek help. Part of the help sometimes involves getting a diagnosis, such as an anxiety disorder or schizoaffective disorder or dissociative identity disorder or any other term used to describe what's medically called a mental illness.

Unfortunately, this diagnostic term sticks. Sometimes people feel shame about having a mental illness so begin to self-stigmatize, using a label to define who they think they are because of the medical term. Sometimes, friends, family, coworkers, and even strangers become confused, mistaking a diagnostic phrase for the whole person.

Regardless if the stigma comes from within the person or from outsiders, it's a lie. A term for a (mental) illness is only that: a medical term. It gives a common language to what someone is dealing with in order to make healing easier. Nothing more. Don't be fooled by stigma. A diagnostic label of mental illness is only something you're dealing with. It isn't who you are.

Related Articles Dealing with Stigma, Mental Illness, and Identity

Your Thoughts

Today's Question: Have you ever found yourself thinking a mental health label describes who you are rather than something you’re dealing with? We invite you to participate by commenting and sharing your feelings, experiences and knowledge on the HealthyPlace Facebook page and on the HealthyPlace Google+ page.

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Share our Stories

At the top and bottom of all our stories, you'll find social share buttons for Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Pinterest and other social sites. If you find a particular story, video, psychological test or other HealthyPlace feature helpful, there's a good chance others in need will too. Please share.

We also get many inquiries about our linking policy. If you have a website or blog, you can link to any page on the HealthyPlace website without asking us beforehand.

Most Popular HealthyPlace Articles Shared by Facebook Fans

Here are the top 3 mental health articles HealthyPlace Facebook fans are recommending you read:

  1. Loving Yourself When You Have a Mental Illness
  2. Recovering From Your Eating Disorder When You Want to Quit
  3. Psychopathy: Definition, Symptoms, Signs and Causes

If you're not already, I hope you'll join us/like us on Facebook too. There are a lot of wonderful, supportive people there.


From the HealthyPlace Mental Health Blogs

On all our blogs, your comments and observations are welcomed.

Feel free to share your thoughts and comments at the bottom of any blog post. And visit the mental health blogs homepage for the latest posts.


Stand Up for Mental Health

Thousands Have Joined the Stand Up for Mental Health Campaign

But we still need you. Let others know there's no shame in having depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, trichotillomania, OCD, ADHD, schizophrenia or any other mental illness.

Join the Stand Up for Mental Health campaign. Put a button on your website or blog (buttons for family members, parents, mental health professionals and organizations too). We also have covers for Facebook, Twitter and Google+.


Latest Mental Health News

These stories and more are featured on our mental health news page:

  • Violent Video Games 'Linked To Aggression But Not Criminal Violence'
  • COPD Patients With Psychological Conditions Have Higher Rate Of Early Hospital Readmission
  • Long-Term Brain Changes Persist Years After Drug Abuse And Recovery
  • Increased Risk Of Depression For Mothers Undergoing Fertility Treatment
  • Just One Or Two Drinks A Day Could Increase Risk For Certain Cancers
  • Depression, Bipolar May Raise Heart Disease Risk In Teens
  • Retinal Changes May Serve As Measures Of Brain Pathology In Schizophrenia

That's it for now. If you know of anyone who can benefit from this newsletter or the site, I hope you'll pass this onto them. You can also share the newsletter on any social network (like facebook, stumbleupon, or digg) you belong to by clicking the links below. For updates throughout the week:

back to: Mental-Health Newsletter Index

APA Reference
(2015, August 19). Stigma Lies. Mental Illness Isn’t Who You Are, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, June 16 from

Last Updated: August 24, 2015

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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