An anti-anti-stigma campaign
The whole anti-stigma campaign is something of a joke. Google the word “stigma,” see for yourself. Mental health labels are inherently stigmatizing, yet the industry that was responsible for creating and perpetuating them, simultaneously pours money into anti-stigma campaigns which will come up right away on your search. They tell us not to stigmatize people who take psychiatric drugs for these labels. While I agree, as a politically correct (sometimes), compassionate (sometimes) person who aspires to be humble (mostly), stigmatizing anyone for anything can be hurtful, there is a fine line between an anti-stigma campaign and repressing discernment in the general public.
Is it possible to stigmatize actions but not the people who take those actions? In theory, yes. In practice, inconclusive, but we must not allow the anti-stigma campaigns to cloud our judgment, silence us, or tell us to accept everything, every behavior, everyone being on psych drugs, etc. It is fishy that the same people who created the stigma to sell their products are now demanding we not stigmatize people for using their products. They are basically saying, “Don’t stigmatize people who are bringing us such immense profits. We must protect the oblivion (in some cases) of our customers so they will continue to generate income for us.” In this case, perhaps a bit of stigma (or better words: discernment, non-acceptance, intolerance) is better than repressing those things.
What if cigarette companies/Big Tobacco ran anti stigma campaigns? Much of advertisement is actually some form of an anti-stigma campaign. Advertisements for all things unhealthy have beautiful, healthy looking people in their ads to promote their products and give the message that by using them (even cigarettes, alcohol, candy, etc) you will also be beautiful, healthy and stay forever young.
Pharmaceutical companies, of course, do this too, featuring happy looking people to sell their products. The irony is this creates stigma against being human and having sadness, difficult emotions and grief. Having natural emotional reactions to life is stigmatized but if you get a mental health label and “take your medication” you suddenly have a whole group of comrades to defend this anti-stigma campaign with. You have a place in society now, that is being guarded by those who profit. At least there are guard dogs fending off the stigmatizers. At least you’re not that sad, “depressed” person in black and white in the anti-depressant ad. We can stigmatize her in our ad-until she takes our drugs. Then she’s safe from scrutiny. Then we’ll shame you for suggesting there may be a better way and the drugs may be doing more harm than good. Is stigma, in this context, a dirty word for caring?
Let’s all stop being so intelligent and stop using our brains! Let’s sit in front of TV all day smoking cigarettes, eating GMO snacks, drinking Pepsi, popping Benzos and let our party line and dying words be “End the stigma,” when the real stigma was the initial one. The real stigma is the stigmatization of our humanity-unlabeled, free and wild. The real stigma is against sensitivity, intelligence, introversion, feelings, grief, creativity, uniqueness, brilliance and pain.
How’s that for politically correct? People who commit to accepting their feelings and nature make far worse consumers. They are much less likely to buy or get addicted to your products. So you’d better keep stigmatizing them if you want to stay afloat Pharma!