Landing : Athabascau University


By Louise Martin November 8, 2013 - 2:56pm Comments (7)

I have noticed people who  are suffering from some form of psychological problem are treated less than inhuman than those who do not have this kind of problem.  What many people don't understand is that most Canadian, especially the  well-educated people have some form of psychological problem.  I don't believe that anyone should be subjected to this kind of treatment.  The road is there for everyone, and whether I fall into it today or tomorrow, the road is still there.  It is not for me to dehumanize someone, because he or she is suffering from  any form of illness. 

It is shocking surprised that  people in the society have this kind of behavior.  They dehumanized  someone , because of the nature of his or her illness.  In this society it seems as if birds of a kind will have to stick together, in order to ward off skeptism or the stigma they are faced with. 


  • I've noticed that too. A lot of social institutions are dehumanizing whether we are unwell or well, but the stigma added to psychiatric disabilities can make it a lot more work just to live. (I'm finishing up the MAIS program here, but I TA at another institution and have been watching how hard some of my students with disabilities work just to stay enrolled and not fall through the system's many, many cracks. And that's on top of the regular work of getting their educations. Yet when they do poorly in class, they are stigmatized for "not trying hard enough.")

    Are you thinking about this as a research topic? What kinds of supports do you think schools or other institutions could provide that would not be dehumanizing? 

    sarah beth November 8, 2013 - 4:09pm

  • No, I am not thinking about this as my reseach topic, so feel please to use this as a research topic.


    November 9, 2013 - 12:02am

  • That's generous of you. My research is already proposed and underway on another topic, but if someone took this one up, I would certainly read with interest. 

    In the meantime, here's hoping we both observe less and less of this problem as time goes by. 



    sarah beth November 9, 2013 - 10:55am

  • I think I'll settle with the one I have in mind.  It's  nice of you to read my blog.

    Louise Martin November 11, 2013 - 12:37pm

  • I like reading the blogs here. It's nice to know what other people are working on. Makes being a distance student less lonely. 

    This article has been going around on Facebook and Twitter lately: thought it was relevant to your observation about the same issue, and that others at AU might find it interesting. 

    The article is about the lack of social and community support for people with mental health disabilities, compared to physical illnesses. The author compares how his friends supported his family when his wife had cancer, versus when his daughter was institutionalized:

    Friends talk about cancer and other physical maladies more easily than about psychological afflictions. Breasts might draw blushes, but brains are unmentionable. These questions are rarely heard: “How’s your depression these days?” “What improvements do you notice now that you have treatment for your ADD?” “Do you find your manic episodes are less intense now that you are on medication?” “What does depression feel like?” “Is the counseling helpful?” A much smaller circle of friends than those who’d fed us during cancer now asked guarded questions. No one ever showed up at our door with a meal.

    He finds that other people's fear of talking about mental health disabilities made it harder for him to talk about it too. 

    sarah beth November 13, 2013 - 1:14pm

  • Two comments resonate with me "dehumanized  someone , because of the nature of his or her illness" and people openly talking about breast or prostate cancer.   

    Bring up the subject of Alzheimer's or other related dementias and watch the room clear out. The odd person will make clucking noises while looking for an escape route but most react as if you have morphed into a highly contagious two-heading being. And if heaven forbid, you discuss the humourous side of the disease, people question your mental state.

    With any mental illness there are thought provoking moments and humourous moments,  Dementia is a disease but unlike cancer there are no surviours and the family is the sufferer's spokesperson. Both my parents suffered with and died from dementia. They asked questions such as "When will I know that I don't you know"  or were sent home from daycare for pushing a playmate. In death the medical profession does not acknowledge the actual cause, only listing the final result, heart attack. The heart stopped because dementia prevented the brain from functioning.


    Barbie Bruce November 13, 2013 - 1:56pm

  • There are help on the way Brabie Bruce.  Knowledge in medicine has increased and you may be surprised that you will become well again.  Good that you have the guts to speak up.  Even the wind and trees have breath, so don't keep quiet.Live and if you can't live, live.


    Louise Martin December 14, 2013 - 9:18pm

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