Personal Views

Stigma

BMJ 1997; 314 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.314.7093.1559a (Published 24 May 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;314:1559

I had known Mary since she was a teenager and had supported her through the time when she struggled with the decision to marry in view of what had been done to her when she was younger. She now had three fine strapping lads but she was worried about Dominic, the eldest and now 19 years old. He was behaving peculiarly, had withdrawn from normal family life, and was spending most of his time in church. He attended Mass as often as it was said and had announced that he would become a monk. The priest had expressed his concern in a way that helped confirm the suspicion that Dominic was developing a psychotic illness.

Mary was distraught and through her tears she exclaimed, “And what if it was your son?” It …

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