Women, Stigma, and Mental Illness

So true. Some people do not stand up and ask for help because they’re too afraid of what the world will say. So they continue to live in the darkness; society prevents them from living in the light. Those who stigmastise are merely small-minded. And we need to open their eyes to the true reality of mental illness.

Kitt O'Malley

Why is it that we as a society seem to accept depression in women more readily than other mental illnesses? We seem to find it acceptable when a woman harms herself, turns her pain, frustration, and anger inward; yet, should she lash out at those making demands of her, such as her children, she is seen as a monster.

Why does it seem more acceptable for a woman to suffer from postpartum depression than postpartum bipolar disorder or postpartum psychosis? Do we not understand that the hormones of pregnancy can push depression to bipolarity or lead to psychosis, as in psychotic depression? Anyone of us is vulnerable to mental illness, even psychosis, given the right circumstances.

If we are to destigmatize mental illness, we must stop distancing ourselves from and judging certain diagnoses as worse than or other than. For years, I turned my rage onto myself rather than attack others. I internalized the…

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One thought on “Women, Stigma, and Mental Illness

  1. Thank you so much for reblogging my post. Unfortunately, these statements of yours ring too true: “Some people do not stand up and ask for help because they’re too afraid of what the world will say. So they continue to live in the darkness; society prevents them from living in the light.” Fear of judgement and reprisals can have catastrophic results.

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