#HAChat Recap – July 9, 2013

#HAChat Recap – July 9, 2013

The following is a recap from our recent #HAChat about combating stigma related to health issues and conditions. We’re always looking for new ideas to help you grow – please email editorial@wegohealth.com with suggestions or if you’d like to host a future #HAChat!

  1. Afternoon, Health Activists! Welcome to today’s #hachat!
  2. Today we are continuing our discussion about stigma surrounding health issues and conditions! #hachat #hachat
  3. Last week, we discussed how stigma has affected us. Today,we’ll discuss how to combat stigma! #hachat
  4. T1: I have written past posts about misconceptions surrounding neurological conditions and then setting the record straight! #hachat
  5. T1. Sometimes education helps. Also, living as if there were no associated stigma (“I’m rubber, you’re glue…”) ignore the insult. #hachat
  6. I blog/fb/tweet about it and hope that people are reading and understanding #hachat
  7. You can fight #stigma by talking about it, sharing experiences, being open & honest #hachat
  8. T1. Just being open and honest, online and in person. Part of the stigma sometimes can just be asking someone about their condition #hachat
  9. T1: I think that sharing experiences can be more effective than other forms of education in terms of medical literature, stats, etc #hachat
  10. T1.1: What would you say to someone facing stigma and doesn’t know how to cope? #hachat
  11. @wegohealth Look online for resources to realize that you’re not alone. There’s a HUGE online community with open arms! #hachat
  12. T1.1: I would advise them to join a support group; sometimes sharing experiences of stigma can help realise you’re not alone #hachat
  13. @wegohealth I would say: Go online, chat w/bloggers who are experiencing same thing – talk with friends. Combat fear = find solution #hachat
  14. T1.1 Often all you can do is let them know even if others don’t understand, there are plenty out there who do and are there for you. #hachat
  15. @wegohealth T1.1: “knowledge is power” – inform, engage, and communicate! They are not alone, there is support #hachat
  16. @wegohealth We would say: You’re not alone. Reach out to others. Talk to someone. #hachat
  17. Going online and finding like-minded souls is key #hachat
  18. T1.2: What are ways this person can fight stigma? #hachat
  19. Educate those who stigmatize. Teach them that a person is not their disease #hachat
  20. T1.2: Learn, engage, educate others, prove self in ways unconnected to #chronicillness #hachat
  21. T1.2: The ways in which they can help stop stigma is by writing in blogs, articles,pamphlets, share experiences via social media #hachat
  22. T2: What can friends or family members do to reduce stigma? #hachat
  23. Family and friends can educate themselves about their loved one’s diseases #hachat
  24. Myths about cancer and how people cope with it: cancer.gov/cancertopics/p… #hachat
  25. @wegohealth be supportive of your friend or family member facing #stigma— you show this by going to stigma-reduction events, etc #hachat
  26. T2. Stand up for you when someone else tries to exclude you or blame you or stigmatize you #hachat
  27. @wegohealth T2 Ask them to learn about your illness & be an advocate for you, if they’re comfortable doing so. #hachat
  28. T2.1: What are some expressions that can cause stigma that people should avoid? #hachat
  29. T2.1: “Should you {eat/drink/do} that [with your condition]?” #hachat
  30. @wegohealth Saying things like “I’m so OCD” when they mean they are particular. It’s different. A LOT different! #hachat
  31. T2.1: “Perhaps, you need to go out more; you’re not getting out enough…” #hachat

  • “You brought this on yourself!” More on this at “When The Stigma of Disease Makes Diagnosis Worse” wp.me/pD9Pq-2oJ #hachat
  • @serenebutterfly Conversely, my {insert relation here} died from that, suffered x complications, etc. #hachat
  • T2.1: ” My {insert relation here} had that; they still managed to have a job and go out, etc…” #hachat

  • Ooo, love that one! One-upmanship! Often said with that vaguely disapproving look as if you’re a slacker! @serenebutterfly #hachat
  • @serenebutterfly Seriously. I had someone say I should go out more/do stimulating things when I said that I get tired a lot. #celiac #hachat
  • T2.1: “BUT you don’t look sick!!” is a big one that a lot of people experiencing #invisibleillness hear #hachat
  • T3: Are healthcare providers sensitive to preventing stigma? #hachat
  • T3. Depends on the HCP. Mine are OK, but some I’ve encountered on @LinkedIn… not at all #hachat
  • @wegohealth they can either be one of ur biggest supporters or biggest sources of #stigma depending on where in the world u are. #hachat
  • In my experience within the UK healthcare system, stigma can still occur from doctors, etc. Charities and organisations do better #hachat
  • T3 Healthcare providers often instigate stigma just by seeking causal links: Are you a smoker? How much do you exercise? @wegohealth #hachat
  • @AutoimmuneGal I have some concerns about aggressive treatment: adverse reactions (aka, “the cure is worse than the disease”)… #hachat
  • T3.1: What can providers do to decrease medical stigma? #hachat
  • Understand the person, not just the disease #hachat
  • @wegohealth Stop calling #celiac a rare disease…it’s most definitely not rare. #hachat
  • @wegohealth Training is impt about preventing bias. Medicine is supposed to be a human profession. #hachat
  • @wegohealth T3.1 Educate themselves – it’s generally NOT the patient’s fault. Don’t blame them even if it IS lifestyle-mitigated. #hachat
  • T3.1: I think they could be careful of the language they use with patients and not to use words which could be seen as stigmatising #hachat
  • T3.1: Treat to the patient’s individual circumstances, not just textbook generalities. $$, family, job, environment, genetic issues #hachat
  • @wegohealth T3.1 Let patients give ideas. “Participatory medicine” is like cursing to so many drs, but it’s so important. #hachat
  • T3, 1: Hcare professionals need to recognize their hidden biases & understand the difference between assumption & fact. #hachat
  • @wegohealth We also should not say patients failed on medications. Medications prescribed &/or prescribers may have failed patients #hachat
  • T4: What are some ways to change society’s views on stigma regarding medical conditions? #hachat
  • T4: If everyone has the same condition… do we see it as stigmatizing? Or do change our understanding of “normal”? #hachat
  • Spread awareness abt ur condition in a meaningful easy to explain way. Humanize the condition. Often the unknown causes stigma. #hachat
  • T4: Tough! More publicity and advertising surrounding health campaigns would be a great start. Stigma is a result of non-awareness #hachat
  • @wegohealth T4 sounds the same as T1: ways to combat stigma? Do one and you’ll accomplish the other #hachat
  • We in the media need to be more careful about the words we choose & the assumptions/stereotyping we bring to our coverage. #hachat
  • Well said Anne! @AnnePolta Words do matter. For example: promise me you won’t use the word “compliance” in your health articles… #hachat
  • T4: Just making people more aware; giving a face to the condition or illness can help. Makes it seem less scary #hachat
  • T4: More accurate portrayls of illness in TV and film as they always show the worst case scenarios!! #hachat
  • @serenebutterfly Sometimes they show miracle cures, sometimes they forget it after 2 episodes, sometimes they are grossly inaccurate #hachat
  • T4.1: Have you seen a successful program and/or ad campaign to reduce stigma? #hachat
  • T4.1: The portrayl of bipolar disorder in ‘Homeland’ was very good #hachat
  • Thank you all for joining and sharing with us today! #hachat
  • Looks like lots can be done to help prevent stigma. #hachat
  • Want to host a #hachat? @Wegohealth is always looking for health activists to guest host! #hachat
  • Please join us next Tuesday – same time, same hashtag! #hachat
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