Major depression is a global health crisis; it is complex and confusing, and the majority of people who need help do not receive it. The stigma attached to depression and other mental illnesses is one of the greatest barriers to effective treatment. Embedded as it is in history, culture, and even in the medical model, stigma has poisoned the public’s perception of those who suffer from mental illness. Public stigma also creates “self-stigma,” thereby causing disconnections in relationships and, sometimes, a despair that can lead to self-destructive feelings or suicide. New recovery models including those offered by interpersonal neurobiology are challenging the medical model in the treatment of mental illness. By defining the mind as transcendent and both embodied and relational, new avenues of healing become possible. Health is realized when those with mental health challenges create their own recovery plans and draw on the healing power of the soul within loving and educated communities that support them with friendship, not judgment.
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Copyright © 2017 Patricia McIlvride