Stop using the word “stigma” when you mean “ignorance”

I do not entirely discount the following statement from the Aug. 10 Wellness article, “Thy Rod and Thy Staff: “Due to the stigma that still exists concerning mental illness …” I object to the use of the word stigma. Prejudice exists. Ignorance exists.

To proclaim a "stigma" is common; to do so disguises prejudices one cares not to disclose.

The usage you facilitated to print is common as an utterance, but uncommon as a reality. It is not common practice; we are far less medieval than it suggests.

Now, to address the reality, the ignorance, why it exists and what we can do about it.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has ended its use of the term “stigma”: Can you end yours? The end of one prejudice takes with it many more.

— Harold Maio
Fort Myers, Fla.

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2 thoughts on “Stop using the word “stigma” when you mean “ignorance”

  1. Fact Checker

    Mr. Maio says, “The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has ended its use of the term ‘stigma': Can you end yours?”

    Meanwhile the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration offers this booklet for sale:
    Developing a Stigma Reduction Initiative (with CD)

    Provides tools to mount an effective mental health stigma and discrimination reduction initiative.

  2. brebro

    Also, stop using the word “stigmata” when you mean Rosy Palms.

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