In this entry of my brain damage series, I'll provide a clinical example to convey how the cultural dynamics of stigma can play out in clinicians' behavior. Once upon a time, I acted as an advocate for a woman I'll call Cindy, who was suffering from depression and cognitive difficulties stemming from the depression. The problem had cropped up after a number of traumatic experiences that apparently caused a weak link to snap, bringing out this vulnerability to depression.
If you consider the kinds of things that are said and done regarding cognitive problems, and swapped out the cognitive problem for another issue like race, religion, sexual orientation, or even other disabilities, it wouldn't be as funny, or tolerable, or even make sense. This article tries to get across why I say cognitive impairments are the last refuge of bigotry in the developed world.
People with ADD get a day, but brain damage gets the month of March. March seems like a good month for brain damage awareness. However long the winter feels, March is when spring starts to enter our minds. The first warmer breezes are not far off (if you're in the northern hemisphere and you're out of the more tropical regions). And indeed, for many of those recovering from brain damage it is a long winter, and the first hints of hope and recovery offer some welcome warmth.
Earlier this week, I attended the annual general meeting at the Canadian Mental Health Association (Vancouver - Burnaby branch). As always, people who have used the CMHA's services over the years stood up and told their stories. What remained most with me was one person mentioning that at a certain age, he "experienced symptoms associated with paranoid schizophrenia." How different that sounded from saying "I am a paranoid schizophrenic."
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- Multifaceted Causes of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
- Math Anxiety – Dealing with Fear of Failure
- Boosting Cognitive Performance by… Chewing?
- Can You ‘Catch’ Depression?