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Sam’s story

“People fear mental illness because they do not understand it.”

What kind of stigma did you experience/observe?

I’m 38 y/o and have lived with clinical depression since I was about 12. By now, I have become fairly desensitized to most stigma. A few months ago at work, we were given a briefing for supervisors on how to deal with employees that are potentially undergoing a mental crisis. The subject of depression came up and we were given the hypothetical question of what to do. Most of the answers people came up with were fine, but one person suggested calling the police because the person could become violent. I was shocked at the level of ignorance this comment clearly displayed.

How did you overcome this experience?

I have learned that people decide what they fear. People fear mental illness because they do not understand it.

Help others by sharing a brief, positive message.

Stigma typically does not come from a place of malice, though that certainly exists, rather, stigma is a product of ignorance, the cure for which is enlightenment. We can help ourselves by coming out of the dark and empowering ourselves to talk about our struggles without shame.

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