Stigma and Life Without It

Stigma of Depression

I’ve been thinking about stigma a lot lately.  And having lived in fear of it for most of my life, I now want to look past it to a life without stigma or the fear of it.  What would happen if we got rid of the stigma of mental illness?  Wouldn’t it mean that we’d probably know a lot more about the people in our lives if they began to be honest about their feelings and their fears?  And do we want to be that intimately informed about the people in our lives?

I think so. When people stop hiding and become truly honest about themselves and their choices life gets cleaner and clearer.  By that I mean that relationships would be easier to navigate when you trust what you’re hearing from a spouse or a partner is the truth about their feelings. It would certainly encourage me to be more honest about admitting my fears and hesitations or my hopes and expectations.

And what about our relationships at work?  Wouldn’t that be great?  It would make politics a thing of the past, wouldn’t it?

And wouldn’t our kids grow up with fewer misconceptions about themselves and their families?

So before we think about stigma as an evil in the abstract, let’s think about how much less complicated our lives would be without it.  That motivates me to work toward eliminating it and the damage it inevitably causes. What about you?