Thursday, 3 January 2019

"I did not come to bring peace, but a sword" Matthew 10:34

Tweets this morning after waking (with the alarm!)

'Jesus sends out the Twelve' Matthew 10 in Bible Gateway


'The other side of the fence: Iatrogenic stigma.' in Hole Ousia


on Amazon
"The term stigma refers to a mark that denotes a shameful quality in the individual so marked. Mental illness is widely considered to be such a quality. Goffman, in his classic text, defines stigma as ‘‘an attribute that is deeply discrediting’’ that reduces the stigmatized person ‘‘from a whole and usual person to a tainted, discounted one’’. In Goffman’s view, stigma occurs as a discrepancy between ‘‘virtual social identity’’ (how a person is characterized by society) and ‘‘actual social identity’’ (the attributes really possessed by a person)."

"Underlying all forms of discrimination, including psychiatric stigmatisation, is an exaggerated attribution of ‘other-ness’ to certain individuals or groups. There is an assumption (made by the discriminator) of the existence of fundamental differences between themselves and ‘the other’.

The diagnostic lens, which brings part, but never the whole, into sharp focus, is a stigmatiser in itself. It can lead to a situation where the doctor (and the wider world) may cease to see the whole person, and be easily distracted from what else is going on outside any label. Whilst our profession has made great efforts to tackle stigma, a study by Lauber and colleagues found that nearly three quarters of relevant publications report that beliefs of mental health providers do not differ from those of the population, or are even more negative. This would seem to contradict the belief that mental health providers (including psychiatrists) should have more favourable attitudes due to professionals’ knowledge about mental disorders and their daily contact with those suffering from them. They concluded: “Our findings indicate that, while mental health providers are well informed about mental illness, they nevertheless do not always hold positive opinions about the conditions and the people they treat.” Here we may have a seemingly insoluble problem, as classifications of ‘disorders’ immediately labels a person into a category of ‘otherness.’ Those defining the ‘otherness’ must take care that this is not used to reinforce their own power: for one group to have more, another must have less."

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