By Rev. Paul N. Papas II
1 August 2011
The Curse was put in the Hearse, why not Stigma?
Just as the famous curse against the Red Sox winning the World Series was put in the Hearse in 2004 why can’t we put stigma in the hearse in 2011?
In 2004 the Red Sox had a team that beat all the other contenders and became the World Series Champions. The Red Sox went on to win the World Series a couple more times and have been contenders when they did not win it all.
We presently possess enough information in 2011 to defeat Stigma against the medical condition of a mental illness. So why haven’t we? There are some people who don’t have enough information, so we need to get the word out. Then there are people who purposely just refuse to throw off all forms and purposely attack who have a medical condition of a mental illness. There are also people who purposely and willfully go about a campaign of disinformation to distribute false information about a person or group, for their own benefit, to create a stigma about that person or group.
This disinformation has been going on for a very long time, such as when the serpent deceived Eve into believing she would die if she ate the apple.
We see disinformation campaigns against those who have a medical condition of a mental illness in movies, TV shows, and on stage. Some comics use those who have a medical condition of a mental illness for fodder.
Since one in five people in this country are touched by someone who have a medical condition of a mental illness that means that one in five people are being ostracized by stigma because someone or some group wanted to feel superior.
I don’t know of anyone who had on their wish list to have a medical condition of a mental illness.
There are families who have purposely gone about a disinformation campaigns about another family member and emotionally disowned a family member.
In one case I know of a daughter was emotionally disowned because the family did not approve of her father. The marriage was not “family approved”. The family is forbidden to contact the daughter/cousin or have any association with her or even speak her name. This daughter/cousin did not have on her wish list to be born into that family, yet she has a stigma for something she has no control over. This family certainly feels superior to this daughter/cousin.
In another case I know of one sister emotionally disowned another sister and forbids their common parents to speak to, associate with, or mention the name of the emotionally disowned sister. The sister who did the disowning refused to share the love of the parents with her sister. The sister who did the disowning feels superior to her family in that she is controlling her own immediate family. The unfortunate thing is the sister who did the disowning has carried that same successful disownment strategy to others in her lives who she seeks to control. When she is unsuccessful in controlling someone else, then she goes about a purposeful disinformation campaign about them to create an unwarranted and unwelcomed stigma against them.
Stigma is like putting a drop of poison in water, once the poison has been introduced into the water it is not fit for human consumption. It must be cleaned before we can drink it.
In politics we have seen many disinformation campaigns go on. I am sure you know about negative ads. The theory is that if you repeat a lie often enough, then people start to believe it. Good news travels, but bad news travels faster. There are people who become polarized against someone or some group because of an ongoing disinformation campaign. I can think of a national figure that has been the subject of disinformation campaign that that there is a stigma attached to the mention of her name, Governor Sarah Palin. I recently saw the documentary “Undefeated” that presents a lot of historical facts and documented evidence about her life that I could see what a stigma has attached to her name, just because some believed the disinformation launched campaign against her. I challenge you to see the “Undefeated” and match it up with what you know about Gov Palin to see how the disinformation campaign against her have created a stigma about her.
Would you want to be the subject of disinformation campaign to create a stigma against you, probably not? Let’s END Stigma in 2011 and put in the hearse.
Rev. Paul N. Papas II is a Pastoral Counselor with Narrow Path Ministries (MA and AZ) and Founder of the Family Renewal Center (AZ) http://www.narrowpathministries.org and http://www.familyrenewalcenteraz.org