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Recovering our Sense of Value After Being Labeled Mentally Ill

Patricia E. Deegan

Abstract

1. People with mental illness must know that mental illness does not mean they can no longer lead full lives. Role models--successful people who have mental illness--are needed. 2. There is a great danger in labeling a person as an illness. Once people believe they are an illness, there is no one left inside to take a stand toward the illness; they give up control and others take responsibility for them. 3. "High functioning" and "low functioning" are not attributes that exist inside a person. They are value judgments that are put on a person. There are no high-functioning or low-functioning people. There are people whose contribution we are able to see and value and there are those whose gifts we have failed to see and have failed to value.

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Contributed on 7/29/2010

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