It is through information that we will change how the world views this disorder. In Beyond The Label, stigma is discussed in detail. Stigma is more than just how a person feels about a disorder, it has a great impact on the life of the sufferer. While Misophonia is not the same as mental illness, there is little else to compare it to – and since the reactions appear mental (to an onlooker), it can be put under the same umbrella as many mental illnesses. Below is the definition of stigma in a book designated for raising awareness and cutting away the label for mental illness and addiction.
Stigma is not merely a problem of “hurting people’s feelings.” Stigma interferes with the person’s full participation in society, can lead to and/or increase mental health and substance use problems, and can provoke the person to withdraw from relationships and services that could be helpful. Stigma can seriously hamper matters such as holding a job, having a home, accessing services and participating in social relationships (CAMH)
The fear of being judged and scrutinized can stop people from looking for help. Since Misophonia is not a well known condition, it can be very isolating attempting to search for a cure, and even worse, when they find out there is not one. This is why awareness is so important – awareness can remove stigma, both from the medical community and from the public. Without research, Misophonia will remain a relatively unknown condition, and without advocacy, the demand for research is lowered. The more doctors, graduate students, and people that have heard of Misophonia, the greater chance of finding a cure, or helping sufferers to handle the disorder properly.
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