For people with a behavioral health diagnosis, the reality of stigma is all too familiar. They know from first hand experience how people react to finding out that someone they know has a mental health diagnosis. Individuals forget that they are dealing with a person, and begin to think in terms of negative stereotypes that work to define people with mental health needs as “other,” “abnormal” or “one of those people.”
In the sixth installment of the Recovery Stories series, people with lived experience talk about how they have dealt with stigma, and how it works to separate people with behavioral health diagnoses from the so-called “normal” people. The message shared by these individuals is that people with lived experience are people first, and deserve to be recognized for their humanity, not for their diagnoses. Please take a moment to listen to their thoughts, stories and insights, and share them to help break the grip of stigma in your community.