My Experience of the Three Phases of Internal Stigma Reduction

By Ken Braiterman, Wellness Wordworks Board Chair

I came out to my family and trusted friends right away, when I was diagnosed in 1977, not with people who only knew me a short time, or at work. I didn’t want them to think about my mental health history if I got angry, tired, or frustrated like everybody else.

What I told myself determined what I told other people.  That evolved in stages.

I thought in 1977  that I had a chemical imbalance in the brain, a no-fault disease controllable with medication.  That was a new idea then.  If enough people

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