The Stigma of Mental Health
Stigma, which is ultimately caused by a lack of knowledge and fear, causes people to react differently to those experiencing a brain-based mental illness. Often we hear people say they have a friend experiencing “mental health issues”. Oddly, people don’t say they have a friend experiencing “breast lump issues”, “heart issues” or “kidney issues”. They are free to say, without being shunned, that they have a friend with breast cancer, heart disease or kidney disease. These more socially acceptable medical illnesses reap the full benefits of the “casserole” crusade, while those who have been diagnosed with legitimate medical illnesses like depression, bipolar or schizophrenia, are left to their own struggle.