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How does Self-Stigma work?

Hula Hoop

Illustration © Riki Blanco

Freedom is difficult when you see yourself as a slave who deserves your situation. And it is difficult to release the stigma when you consider yourself inferior to others or a lesser person. Hating yourself puts you in the shoes of people who despise you without knowing anything about you, only that you are “strange”. And you, who feel different, you begin to think that the situation you are in is your fault.

In addition, we are people who need support from others to improve our situation. Without this support it is very difficult to get out of the hole. And the opinions of others can be so painful!

When you think you are responsible, you have already gained self-esteem. And as a colleague said very well a few days ago in this blog, it is often not the fault of the disorder that you are stigmatized with, but of the factors that accompany it: the precariousness of living conditions or the lack of emotional support, for example.

And once your self-stigma has got into your body, it’s very difficult to break free. It is part of Western culture. Before you have a mental problem, you already consider those who have it as inferior people. And when you start with the disorder, you despise yourself.

You lose dignity very quickly and recover very slowly. Job insecurity, loneliness or problems caused by medication – doping or having sexual problems, for example -, only add more weight to self-stigma.

What if I’m sick, how am I going to lead a normal life? You concentrate on your limitations and you only see problems. Having a mental disorder is already a huge problem. On top of that we punish ourselves for it.

Anything that makes you feel dignified and a person like others helps. A job is not a therapy, but it is so beneficial that it looks a lot like it. And doing things that make you feel useful and a member of society is very important.

And we are always members of society by right!

Fèlix Rozey


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