Thursday, May 25, 2017

And The Winners Are ...

Thank you to all who entered to win a copy of "Stress Fracture: A Memoir of Psychosis." 

Congratulations to:

  • Brittany from Illinois
  • Melissa from Nevada
  • Sandra from North Carolina. 

Thank you to Goodreads for hosting the giveaway.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

A Word on Wednesday: Diagnosis

Don't let them LABEL you! 
Don't let them LABEL your child!
Don't believe the LABELS!

The word diagnosis is not synonymous with "label." 

The medical term, diagnosis, is simple and straightforward. The noun's primary definition is twofold (a) the process of determining by examination the nature and circumstances of a diseased condition and (b) the decision reached from such an examination.

From a point of proper diagnosis, proper treatment can begin. Therefore, a diagnosis isn't something to fear or avoid. It isn't a mark or a stain. It is an opportunity. It is a classification. It is an identification. 

The medical sciences of psychology and psychiatry are far from sacred and just. Still, I choose to distinguish a diagnosis from a label. A diagnosis offers hope and inspires action. A label seems harsher and static.

I think people are hesitant to accept a mental health diagnosis for a variety of reasons.
(Some of which I talked about earlier this month here here and here)

I found this article about the value of a proper diagnosis in this Psychology Today 2014 article. You can read it here.  

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

A Word on Wednesday: Stigma

Eleanor Roosevelt once said, 
"No one can make you feel inferior without your permission." 

When we think about Mental Health Awareness, we often hear pleas to stop the stigma. Stop the stain, the blot, the tarnish that is mental illness. 

By definition: The noun, stigma, refers to a mark of disgrace; a stain or reproach as on one's reputation. Medically, this is a mental or physical mark that is characteristic of a defect or disease. 

Mental health care advocates work tirelessly to rid societal-level conditions, cultural norms, and institutional practices that breed stigma

It is my experience the most damaging stigma is the internalized stigma. It is our own voice beating us down. We do this, because we believe the lie that having a mental illness is disgraceful. By living that lie, health is denied, and we damage ourselves farther. 

The internalized stigma is often far worse than the actual discrimination or consequences of accepting a mental illness as part of one's overall health condition. 

We don't have to feel this way. We don't have to feel less than.