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The stigma of mental health – defining yourself without the labels

By May 27, 2015December 17th, 2015Blog

Too often in our society we are reduced to our mental illness. I am bipolar, he is schizophrenic. She is the depressive type.

Can you imagine if instead we referred to folks with mental illness with phrases such as, “I am fantastic at drawing,” “he is amazing with computers,” “she is so creative”!

Instead, we stick to the label and the label sticks to us. As if the label defines everything. As if the mental illness rises above all else in our being.  And it will, if we let it.

We don’t think of a person as “she is thyroid cancer.” But we do think “she is OCD.” (obsessive compulsive disorder)

People with mental illness are mothers.  Photographers. Siblings. Teachers.  Grandchildren.  Gardeners.  Students. Hikers. Survivors. Grandparents.

If you are a person with mental illness, who are you…before the label takes over?

Define yourself – before the stigma of society does.

Christina Fay | Coordinator of Co-occurring Services and DBT

Photo Credit: Quinn Dombrowski