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Social Stigma Still Evident for Alzheimer’s, Dementia and Mental Illness

Why is it that, in this supposedly enlightened age, mental illness still carries a stigma? Why is it that when people talking about someone who is ill, say in their office, and it's the flu or even cancer, they will discuss it openly, however if it is a mental illness, say depression or schizophrenia, they will whisper about it? Are they afraid that they, too, will succumb to this disease if they admit it's real. Do they feel that they are somehow protecting the dignity of the person with the illness if they whisper rather than talk normally about a person's mental illness?

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