Stigma-the word means almost the same as it sounds, something like a sword that might stab you under the rib; isn’t stigma happening when religions or relics start to drip blood on the wall, the altar, or a person’s “stigmatized” face\sometimes people get it, and they start bleeding from body part?

I thought it was some virus-a stigma-a stigmatism-that one could get that nested in an eye, and cause us to ask, “Isn’t that stigma?”

No, a stigma is far more powerful & hurtful, than any of the things I’ve described here. A stigma is created & perpetuated by people who have a lot of bias (towards whatever they ridicule) and lack good, accurate information about whatever they are stigmatizing (consistently finding themselves engaged in an emotional commitment to ignorance).

Stigma is a false or negative statement of one’s mind about a group or class of people; bias, as written above, it is definitely an emotional commitment to ignorance, mainly because people reject the facts around any given group, blinded by their own denial. Big Time! Stigma is a judgment you lay on some other group or person; it’s an extension of the blame game. “We don’t want those drug addicts (or any type of group such as homeless, “crazy” people, or battered women or men) living in our neighborhood!

What runs these kind of “stigmatized” responses? Most likely, it’s fear with a capital F! Fear is the enemy in the mind that causes you to shrink from anything you don’t like or of which you fear. When we do fear that traps us, we can’t think clearly or reason intelligently; we think with ignorant, irrational, fuzzy-logic brains.

Bias-prejudice-racism syndrome (my word) will cause a lot of crazy making in our lives; intense drama is no fun to live with all the time. It drains us of energy to live an effective, healthy, & joy-filled life. Anything we center on will require energy, commitment, & persistence over time.

We may think all persons who have a psychiatric diagnosis, are “crazy” people, “who are also very violent.” Not true at all, of most people with diagnoses; most can function in their treatment plans with medication, therapy, and other cognitive-behavior interventions. Most likely this perception comes from highly publicized crimes journalized in the media. Also, many people with diagnoses are able to work, and each person has to work out what that’s going to look like for them.

Here’s an idea to try on: when thinking about any particular group, try to think of the group objectively, factually; think of points that you believe about certain classes of people, and list them. Once you’ve done that, ask yourself why you believe this about that group. Think of specific points that you feel these people “have” or “possess.” Then do as much of a search as you can, insuring you obtain accurate data & information are correct. This is a real self-challenging search and you’ll have to work for a result!

©Christopher Bear-Beam April 11, 2016



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