Originally Posted by Vanya
Zukiphile, I agree with you as to the difficulty of "destigmatizing" mental illness; but that doesn't mean we shouldn't try.
Can you name an illness that is desirable? Let's see... heart disease... cancer... asthma... nope, I'd rather not have any of them.
It is my position that it is not reasonable to attempt to eliminate a stigma with a reasonable basis.
My sense is that the degree of stigma that meets mental illness increases as we get to the "cuckoo for cocoa puffs" end of the spectrum and decreases as we get to the "case of the Mondays" end of the spectrum.
I see no particular stigma attached to the ordinary sadness that accompanies the death of a family member. On the other hand, I very much doubt that the yelling homeless man I encountered on the way into my office last Monday gets very many inquiries from people looking for someone to housesit while they are on vacation. That may be unfair; he may be an ideal house sitter, but the appearance of not being reasonable and in control of his actions leads ordinary observers to understandable conclusions.
If someone's conclusion is false, it makes sense to try to talk him out of it. If a conclusion is reasonable, that is another matter.