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

The Mark of Shame

Mental illness is rampant, yet people rarely talk about it. One internationally known psychologist, Dr. Stephen P. Hinshaw (2019), has written extensively about the broad subject of mental illness and openly shares his unique personal narrative regarding how he and his family have been affected.  Dr. Hinshaw maintains that narratives play a key role in our overall understanding of the human mind, and in fact “humanizes” us. Because we guide and shape meaning to life and experiences through the creation of a personal narrative, writing or telling our story can even be beneficial to our health.

In Another Kind of Madness: A Journey Through the Stigma and Hope of Mental Illness, Dr. Hinshaw writes about how people today continue to have negative emotional reactions to individuals with mental illness. He indicates that each year probably ¼ of the world’s population is affected by moderate to severe forms of mental illness. Maybe if we all took part in telling our unique life narratives, this number would diminish. In his own rich narrative, Dr. Hinshaw relates that his father had a mental condition called bipolar disorder. He writes about how his father’s condition affected his family, recounting how members of his family never talked about it with others. Medical Doctors even told his father not to tell his children—thereby shrouding his family with layers of family secrets. His Father experienced a string of misdiagnoses and misunderstandings about the disorder. This occurred everywhere he turned, even in medical community. Hinshaw notes that even today, we tend to neglect or punish those who have mental issues—instead of treating them with kindness, compassion, and empathy.


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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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