Over the last month, we’ve read inspiring stories on the HealthCentral #LiveBold anti-stigma photo contest featuring people with serious health issues. These entrants tell how they cope with their disease. They tell how they not only survive but thrive.
Many health issues – Alzheimer’s being prime among them – often are accompanied by the other-imposed stigma of shame. Maybe people are afraid of “catching” the disease. Mostly, I think, they don’t know how to act or what to do. Whatever the reason that people shy from those who are somehow different, this attitude hurts the person with the disease.
Caregivers share in this disease stigma. We find we have less time for friends so our friends look elsewhere for companionship. We find that friends shy away from us because they don’t want to be reminded that they, too, could be faced with making life-changing decisions about caring for people that they love. We find that people simply don’t understand the often grueling emotional and physical task of being a caregiver to someone with dementia – no matter how much we love our care receivers.
Raising awareness can help end stigma. That’s the reason that HealthCentral has made this enormous effort to spread the word.
Vote for your favorite entry in the HealthCentral #LiveBold anti-stigma contest now. Vote for people with mental illness, arthritis, psoriasis, MS, migraines and many other diseases who have done their best to live life with purpose.
You can vote daily so boost your favorite person’s chance of winning by being vigilant. The voting period is open until August 8, 2014. You can vote on the contest page once a day per IP address and for multiple entries at a time.
Help us raise awareness that the stigma of disease is a mindset that must be overcome. Vote and be heard!
Published On: July 19, 2014