Self-Stigma and MYTH

What is it like when people talk with you, a psychiatric patient? How do all the areas we are contending with in stigma affecting your interaction with others? – Demonic possession, shame, violent tendencies, weak character, and poor moral choices? We want to hear from you. Some stories please. One patient told me that her […]

Stigma from Religion

I’m just leaning on God. Which was her reasoning for stopping her Lexapro. Nora’s family lashed out angrily at her. “Why are you so horrible!” Her husband had left her for another woman from their church, a “friend” of Nora’s who used to come to their house for movie nights. He said, “You’re like poison, […]

Stigma and Me: Me-on-Me Crime

Me-on-Me Crime! I was doing my speed walking thing on the Balboa Beach cottage lined shore. Gorgeous, it was. Fluffy thoughts were everywhere. I was purposely passing under the low hanging docks to upscale some lower body muscles. Some string bean teens with their fishing poles moved into the water’s leisurely lipping edge ahead of me. […]

The Energy in Stigma, Yours for the Taking

There are nothing like lightbulb jokes in the operating room to make you plume your feathers.  The other day, my nurse “enlightened” me with them. How many psychiatrists does it take to change a lightbulb?  One, but the lightbulb has to be willing to change. How many surgeons does it take to change a lightbulb? […]

Work Hard at What You Must – Stigma

I was late again for my exercise group, Kaia F.I.T.  It almost kept me from going.  Being late is embarrassing! Being late is a misunderstood disease.  A syndrome.  I am pretty sure there is a formal diagnosis that the DSM-VI (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Illness) will have for it.  Difficulty with being late […]

Consider the Barrier Stigma Plays in Your Ability to Take Care of Yourself

I am just going to come right out and say it.  I have been trying to be clever, a Queen Esther toward her King and Hamon, on behalf of the people she loved.  (Yes.  I am Queen Esther in this story.  You can play her in another one.  Maybe tomorrow.)  I have been talking about […]

Stigma Can Hack At Us, But We Don’t Have To Lose Our Heads Over It

A few days ago we wrote a blog-post entitled “Be A Tall Poppy.”  I had more than one person ask in comments and in person, what the —-! did that mean! Why a poppy?  Why discriminate against the many other lovely but apparently unapplauded flora of the world? What does it mean to “be a tall […]

Starting With Your Own Answers to The Big Questions Leads to Reducing Stigma In Others

Question:  How do you see the paradigm of spirituality intersecting with the paradigm of biology? As a psychiatrist who blogs that behaviors come from the brain and not a theater script we voluntarily revise to perform, this is a good question.  As readers, and perhaps subscribers to this same belief, this is a good question. In […]

Branding and Branded. Stigma Goes Both Ways.

    Oh, the struggle to understand that behaviors may have something to do with the brain! I shake my fist at stigma! I shake my fist at prejudice! Now, I can go on a little calmer and say, if you are struggling with this yourself, you are not alone. Even if you are the […]

I don’t care if California falls into the ocean and other perceptions

To all the Californians, the colored, the women, the children, the childless, the divorced, the unmarried, the impoverished, the uneducated, the honking laughers, the unclicked chicks, the benchwarmers, the undistinguished, the immigrants, the gay, the mismarked, and the misunderstood: On a dry freezing day in Montana, while the barometer read, “2 F,” I waited for […]

Medication vs Drugs

I imagine some day I’ll understand why users think drugs are healthier options for them then medications. “Doctor, I don’t think my wife will be comfortable with me adding another medication. It seems like I’m already taking so many!” Context: Brennon is using THC “for sleep” he explains. Not recreation. It’s “medicinal.” Boy. We are […]

Get You Some of That – Medical Treatment for Medical Illness

…Continued from yesterday. Cole Swindell – Get Me Some Of That Why do I feel so horrible when I start a treatment that is supposed to help? Medication treatments for depression and anxiety, and some other brain illnesses, often worsen how you feel before you feel better. I can’t tell you how many patients have told […]

The Heroic Patient

Sorena wore a black knit scarf around a thick neck, folds between scarf and skin. She came in with reflective smooth skin and frozen brow.  After many botox injections, she increasingly found it difficult to change her expression.  People often accused her of not caring about difficult things they were disclosing, and she realized the issue was, […]