Stigma and Mental Health

Social Stigma

Social Stigma (Photo credit: sea turtle)

Here’s an article today about the stigma attached to mental health and violence issues.  Considering the tragedy recently in Connecticut, it’s important that informed discussions about these topics occur.

Mental Health Stigma Mixed Signals

What do you think?  Is there too much misinformation out there about violence being associated with mental disorders?  And how can we better identify mentally ill people who do have violent tendencies, so that they get the appropriate help before a horrible tragedy occurs?  And one more question: is the appropriate help available?  I personally have found doctors, both physical and mental, to be highly variable in their diagnostic skills, therapies, and follow-up.  Should mentally ill patients with potentially violent characteristics be forcefully institutionalized until deemed non-violent?

These are tough topics.  They deserve tough answers.

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5 responses to “Stigma and Mental Health

  1. Who’s going to decide what equals “potentially violent characteristics”? Do we hang that label on everyone who loses their temper in public or writes social networking posts that wish ugly fates on politicians they dislike? Do we want to risk becoming a society where everyone who criticizes the “establishment” is dubbed crazy until proven otherwise?

  2. Pingback: Society’s Stigma of Mental Illness Makes Me Want to Scream « Living a Very Different Life

  3. Good question, Katherine. I don’t have the definitive answer. Abuse of the power to label people ‘potentially violent’ would be a reality if there were (or are) formal guidelines among psychiatrists to do so. We do risk becoming a society where many are dubbed dangerous who are not. We’re already a society where the innocent suffer unjustly in all sorts of ways. But if we don’t risk it, using our best diagnostic safeguards to protect the innocent, do we risk becoming a society where children get slaughtered because we are afraid that a few may suffer unjustly?

  4. Pingback: What’s my deal? | A City Broad Abroad

  5. Pingback: “We’ve been in the dark too long on mental illness” | Pennsylvania Mental Health Issues

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