The Assumptive Worlds of Psychopathy VIII: Embracing Shame and Guilt—Unraveling the Stigma Surrounding Mental Illness

The Assumptive Worlds of Psychopathy VIII: Embracing Shame and Guilt—Unraveling the Stigma Surrounding Mental Illness

This can also be true of mental illness. For example, with an individual who has a neurocognitive decline such as Alzheimer’s disease, it is imperative to acknowledge that there is a problem. It is just as beneficial to retain hope.  It is about hope that with early diagnosis and analysis the condition can be treated and even reversed. It is also important to never forget the other side – the negative side. If one were to always live fully in a place of hope, they would neglect the psychological and medical things they must do in order to stay on top of those issues. There is a yin and yang relationship to everything. Learning about and appreciating Polarity, not just with diseases and mental health, but also in our personal and professional lives can be extremely beneficial.

We will offer a quick example of Polarity management where stigma shame and guilt can sneak in and rear their ugly heads. Let’s say you have an amazing job, and you give it your all and have made huge strides in your field. With that comes pride and honor and joy. However, the thing that has taken all your attention will eventually move you to the downside of it. The downside is that you no longer see your friends or have time to be with your family. This is where shame, guilt, and stigma start to break in.  Does this then turn into depression, anxiety, and eventually a mental illness? The negative downside can be avoided by being aware of the role you play in your own life. What does this all mean if anything, and where does this leave us? How do we engage in a balanced view regarding mental illness and stigmas? To answer these deep and often existential questions, we turn to the wisdom offered by Thomas Nagel (1987) who has written a book called What Does it all Mean? 


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About the Author

Lewis And MunzerChristy Lewis holds a Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Texas at Arlington. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) and has counseled for a combined 17 years in several clinical and medical settings and has offered career/life coaching for an additional 10 years. Christy is also Board Certified in Biofeedback and Neurofeedback through BCIA, the Biofeedback Certification International Alliance organization. Prior to working in private practice settings, Christy worked in Psychiatric and Rehabilitation hospital settings. Additionally, she worked in career transition/outplacement settings helping clients with their career transition needs. Christy Lewis currently works and is the director at her own private practice setting, The Biofeedback, Education, & Training Center, PLLC, where she combines counseling with a variety of training modalities to individuals of all ages who need help with issues ranging from severe emotional turmoil to people who are working on taking their personal growth to a higher level. Specifically, she has extensive experience working with kids, teens, & adults who have anxiety, depression, ADHD, frustration/anger issues, behavioral issues, and pain management. Kendell Munzer was born in Peekskill NY in 1973. In 1997 she earned her Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice from Curry College. In 2002 she earned her M.A in Counseling from Mercy College. She is currently pursuing her Doctoral Degree in Psychology at The Professional School of Psychology. Kendell works as a part time substitute teacher for the Charleston County School District. The majority of this work is spent working with behaviorally challenged students. She also works part time growing a local Kitchen and Bath business she and her husband have recently opened. Kendell has an extensive background as a Behavioral Specialist and has conducted many staff trainings and seminars. Presently she resides in Mt. Pleasant SC with her husband and two children. When Kendell isn’t at work she enjoys, photography, travelling, skiing, and spending quality time with her family.

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