We Need To End The Stigma Around Mental Illness VIDEO

We Need To End The Stigma Around Mental Illness VIDEO.

Way to go, Rick Mercer!  I’ve been dogged by depression my whole life, but that hasn’t immobilized me and I think I get along quite well most of the time.  It does make daily activities a challenge at times and it is a constant struggle. The top administrator at St. Joseph’s hospital in Comox told me a few days ago that anxiety and depression are the leading reasons for hospitalization.  We often think of illness as a quality of the individual.  We think of it as idiosyncratic.  We acknowledge that environmental degradation can cause illness, but we seldom think that illness can have social roots.  There is a lot of evidence to suggest that much illness is social in origin, ‘mental’ illness particularly so.  We drive each other crazy all the time and the anxiety caused by uncertainty over mundane aspects of our lives combined with the certainty of death is a killer.  I think that the incidence of mental illness, distress and anxiety is highly underreported.  After all, no one wants to be labelled mentally ill.  That label carries with it profound consequences as the video shows.  Who wants to face the rejection and opprobrium that comes with a diagnosis of mental illness?




Mental Illness, Homelessness, Drug Addiction: Do These Sound Like Crimes? | BillMoyers.com

Mental Illness, Homelessness, Drug Addiction: Do These Sound Like Crimes? | BillMoyers.com.

Bill Moyers gets it right.  We call it ‘mental’ illness when people display erratic, unusual or abnormal behaviour but most of us don’t believe it’s ‘really’ an illness and our governments act accordingly.  No.  Most of us believe, in our heart of hearts, that mental illness is really a moral failing and if people just got their shit together they would be fine.  Would we tell that to a cancer patient?  Well, yes we would, and we do.  (If you hadn’t smoked, you wouldn’t have lung cancer, so there!) What’s really sick here?  I think our social values are, that’s what.