I am extremely interested in psychology. I have been ever since I read a book on psychology from a series of science books given to me by a family member. I found some podcasts by Dana Leighton that are his lectures in his classes, and I downloaded two series of podcasts: Abnormal Psychology and Social Psychology. I've been listening to his lessons and enjoying them. I'll be listening to these this summer, hoping to get some education while I'm sitting around doing crafts.
He talked for a little bit about stigmas during the first podcast of Abnormal Psychology. I've noticed it before, as I'm sure most people have. Nearly everybody tries to avoid people who are not society's definition of normal, such as those with mental illnesses. That's why few of my friends know that I have depression. A lot of people seem to believe that all people with depression cut, and that's not true. I don't cut. One of my friends who I trusted enough to tell her I had depression would always look at my wrists, trying to find scars that weren't there. I've only cut once ever, and that was a one-time thing (I hope) and most likely won't happen again. I can't see myself ever detached enough to do it again, and if I do, I have Moxi to contact. Anyways. Also, a lot of people don't want to hang out with someone who has depression; they think the depressed person will put a damper on things. That's not always true. I mean, if you want to be technical about it, I don't have depression, I have dysthymia. It's just easier to tell people that I have depression because they're more likely to know what that is. Dysthymia is a depressive disorder, but the symptoms are milder and longer lasting than other depressive disorders. Most of the time when someone has a depressive disorder, they're not always depressed. To think that someone with depression is never fun to be around is a prejudice that is usually way-off base, besides myself, I know quite a few people with depression, and most of them can make me smile just as much as any of my "normal" friends. One of my best online friends has a long list of problems, including major depression and schizophrenia, and she and I have had the most in depth conversations on this topic. If anyone knows what it's like to live with stigmas, it's her. She's been in and out of mental hospitals since she was eight, and she's seventeen now. She hasn't been hospitalized because of the schizophrenia in over a year now, yet they're still saying it's "in remission." Once you get it, that label never goes away, and people never stop judging you for it. Along with the depression, I hane some other "issues" that can sometimes cause dysfunctional behaivor. I have been called so many names and looked at so disdainfully… I ate lunch with a group of boys every other day this past school year, and one day I was particularly talkative and started
listing my issues. That's one of the decisions I regret the most. One of the boys, Heath, still calls me "the crazy girl" and "psycho" when he thinks I'm not listening, and that was back in November. So, dear readers, think about what you're saying when you're talking about mentally ill people. We do comprehend what you say. Were not stupid, we just font think the same way you do.
I think that if people were more educated, there wouldn't be so many stigmas. For a while, everyone assumed that if you had AIDS you were gay, or had slept with a gay man. Now we know that's not always the case, and that stigma has been dropped, if not the rest. Fortunately, there are people out there educating the public. Some sites I recommend: