Hi, I’m Jackie and I take medication for depression, and I post on the internet about my bouts with depression and past suicidal thoughts. I do it because it’s important to talk about these things. Sure, it makes some people uncomfortable, but I don't do it for those people. I talk about depression and mental health for people like me who are chronically ill and are worried about stigma.
Three out of four people with mental illness say they have experienced stigma.
So what exactly is it? According to Webster's Dictionary, stigma is "a mark of disgrace associated with a particular circumstance, quality, or person." When we talk about the stigma surrounding mental health, we know that for hundreds, if not thousands of years, in countless cultures, people with mental disorders were locked away and forgotten — or worse.
Fast forward to 2016. The stigma we deal with now is,