Stigma Sorrounding Mental Disorders

Today my abnormal psychology class had an interesting discussion on what is considered to be normal in today’s society. As a future psychologist, I absolutely hate the word abnormal. Who is to say what is normal and what isn’t. However, I do believe there are people who have mental disorders/ disabilities that impair and/ or complicates the individual’s quality of life. The discussion ultimately boiled down to the stigma against people who suffer from a mental disorder. This is a topic that really gets my blood boiling, and me being the blunt person I am I opened my big mouth in class today. It was incredible for me to see firsthand what people think about people who suffer from a mental disorder(s). I was shocked. People had such distorted and exaggerated images of what a person who suffers from a mental disorder acts like and even looks like. We use labels such as crazy, schizo, looney, abnormal, bipolar, OCD and so on. I hate labeling anyone and using words like that to define someone. A mental disorder should not define anyone. Instead of saying that person is bipolar or schizophrenic, we should be saying that person suffers from bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. Labeling people who suffer from these types of disorders has just added to the stigma. I have so much respect and love for the people who have a mental disorder. My passion and the thing that drives me the most about becoming a psychologist is that one day I am going to wake up every day of my life and improve the quality of life of an individual that society has basically shunned. Everyone no matter what they are suffering from should never feel any less of a human being because they suffer from a mental illness. I have made it my mission in life to actually help these individuals, and bring more awareness to mental illness. In doing so I hope to decrease the stigma around it. I decided to start a chapter at my school that is going to bring awareness to mental illness and what it actually is like to suffer from mental illness. I am beyond excited and will keep you guys posted on the progress and things I am doing with the chapter.

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