Speaking Out to Remove Stigma

Speaking Out to Remove Stigma

The Washington Post recently ran an excellent piece about how those with mental illness are speaking out against stigma. Adults with mental illness are choosing more and more to “out” themselves, revealing their real identities online and speaking boldly and authentically about their experiences. The goal is to end the stigma associated with mental illness by giving faces and names to disorders, and showing the world those with mental illness don’t have to hide their conditions or be ashamed. The article includes compelling stories of those who’ve cast aside anonymity to combat stigma. We highly recommend this important read.

Unwell and unashamed
The stigma of mental illness is under attack by sufferers, who are coming out publicly and defiantly

by Colby Itkowitz

For several years, she wrote about her bipolar disorder under a pseudonym. She described how she’d been hospitalized four times, twice since her first child was born. She explained how she went off her medication during both of her pregnancies and how each time — once as the mother of a newborn and then again weeks into her second pregnancy — she was escorted from her home in police handcuffs, defiant.

She blogged to connect and reach other mothers grappling with mental illness. Ultimately, however, she decided that hiding her identity was actually perpetuating the shame long associated with mental disorders.

So even as her parents urged her not to, Jennifer Marshall in 2013 typed her real name on a blog post, hit publish and waited for the reaction. Read more