Real Medicine, Studying Medicine

Removing the Stigma from Mental Illness

It has been a long and difficult week in Psychiatry. This week, we’ve been exposed to a large mental hospital campus, where I found working with intellectually disabled children and therapy groups especially insightful – and emotionally taxing.

Here is a short TedTalk by one of the psychiatrists working there. It is pretty self-explanatory, but I love the way he is approaching stigma and the environment. A note on the norMAL/MALadjusted theme: “mal” is the Afrikaans word for “crazy” (and no, we don’t call people crazy anymore, but in this campaign it is an especially useful play on words).

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5 thoughts on “Removing the Stigma from Mental Illness”

  1. mrigankwarrier.wordpress.com/2013/06/30/to-being-doctors-to-be/ check out the link, if you haven’t yet. It doesn’t relate to the above post.

  2. Ive had many friends and some family that I have watched struggle with mental illness. I often wonder if I am suffering from it as well. Or maybe i have the mental illness that makes you think you may have a mental illness. I think labels can sometimes be dangerous and many people feel that way, which I think prevents a lot of people from seeking help. Im a long time medical professional and I see a lot of people put treatment off until it is literally something they can not do on their own. Earlier intervention could have been helpful to people in this category.

  3. Great reminder. And I kind of understand your weariness. Last semester, our behavioral science course had me thinking that helping families navigate developmental difficulties would be neat. When I actually shadowed a child psychiatrist, my heart was broken case by case… it may not be for everyone, but we need good child psychiatrists!

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