According to the dictionary, stigma is a mark of disgrace or infamy; a stain or reproach, as on one’s reputation.
A mark of disgrace? This is serious business, here. Disgrace is defined as the loss of honor, respect, or esteem, and is synonymous with shame.
Since when is it shameful to recognize life could be experienced more joyfully and to choose to take action towards improving how one interacts with the world?
We are not broken, damaged, or diseased if we have intense feelings that create disturbance or disruption to our functioning.
We are not weak if we feel these feelings.
There is nothing wrong with us, only something that has happened to us.
Something physically, psychologically, spiritually, sexually, mentally, emotionally, biologically happened, and it did one of two things: it began a perpetual pinball-type reaction of circumstances, beliefs, and emotional responses that increase in velocity and intensity at every ricochet, or it heaved the entirety of our world off its axis and shattered the stand on which it rested, leaving us to construct a new one.
We are not damaged.
We are different.
When I say different, I do not mean different from the average person.
Averages are for math. They don’t have a place in my view of emotional wellbeing.
We are different from the self we’ve envisioned and strived to have. Something doesn’t feel right inside, and it’s affecting our interface with life.
I liken going to therapy for mental/emotional/psychological health just as going to physical therapy for physical health. In physical therapy, there is something in our bodies that does not feel right and we wish the discomfort to go away so we can engage in our activities, responsibilities, and relationships again.
The physical therapist evaluates us, seeing where we hurt and what we are doing when we experience pain. A plan is devised to work through the pain, with the goal to regain as much functioning as we’ve had before, taking into account any accommodations that need to be made if there was a sudden traumatic injury that has changed our mobility somehow. An important part of physical therapy is learning how to renegotiate our environment after functioning below our personal maximum potential.
When someone attends physical therapy after a long-term condition has changed the way they function in their daily life, are they looked upon as weak? Defective? Diseased?
What about after a sudden traumatic incident, such as a car accident, are they weak?
Why are we kind, encouraging, and accepting of physical therapy but dismissive and judgmental of therapy related to the rest of our being?
I reject this viewpoint. I rail against the stigma.
Here is a link to 21 different comics that address mental health and the attitudes we have toward its care. I believe some of them are right on the money with how we treat emotional well-being vs. physical well-being.
Thank you for visiting my blog.
Wishing you peace, love, and prosperity.