Stigma! End It!

Why do we have to stigmatize everything?

People are battling every day. They are trying to fight a war that you do not understand. So, what do we do, we put them down. We make it about them. We don’t try to understand what is going on, we just say it is a moral failing.

People are dying every day! 

OverdoseDeaths_2016_CDC
Drugs Involved in U.S. Overdose Deaths* – Among the more than 64,000 drug overdose deaths estimated in 2016, the sharpest increase occurred among deaths related to fentanyl and fentanyl analogs (synthetic opioids) with over 20,000 overdose deaths. Source: CDC WONDER – Read more.

 

I am not only talking about the stigma of substance use disorder, but all stigmas that are destroying people. Mental illness is stigmatized on a regular basis. Many people suffer mental illness; self-medicate and become addicted and are untreated.  I can go on and list so many stigmas and how they are affecting people. I wont’, I ask you to stop and think.

What stigmas come to your mind? 

Are you doing something to stigmatize someone instead of asking if they need help and LISTENING to them. I believe that we can change the world, one person at a time. I am happy that I am not the only one that believes that. There are many people in the world that want to help. We need to do more. We need to have compassion and empathy. We need to understand that people need help.

I suffer from serve depression, I am treated. I am blessed to have a supportive family and friends. I know what it is like to wish I wasn’t here. I can’t control those feelings, I just have to fight through them and reach out for help. A fight that is exhausting many times. I also used substances in my past. I was able to get fight that battle and not use substances. But some are not able to. What is the difference between me and others that are still struggling. I can tell you that people that suffer from addiction do not like it. They do not like waking up and need something to make them return to some type of “normal”. They had dreams and aspirations.

Before you look down on someone, STOP.

Think, what if that person was your father, son, daughter, mother, aunt, uncle niece, nephew or your friend. What if you found out they suffered a terrible event like rape, violence, returning from war.

Look at the news, daily we hear about horrible things that have happened to people. But, why does it matter? We don’t know what their story is, we don’t know what they are battling. We don’t need to know the back story. We don’t need to know why a person is suffering. People are suffering and we need to help. We need to stop the bullying. We need to reach out and offer help.

Compassion. Empathy.

As we approach 2018, let’s all come together and change the world. If we start with the stigma, I believe that would be a big step. That is NOT all, but a good step in the right direction. Think, is what I am doing or saying the compassionate thing to do?

SAMHSA’s National Helpline

1-800-662-HELP (4357)

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255)

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