Tag Archive | stigma

Cancer surviver

Cancer survivor is a heavy title to bear 

Cancer can be dangerous 

Surviving it is good however

But I think there is still a stigma that goes along with cancer

If not, we would talk about it more than we do

It’s kept hush hush most of the time

You hear years later that someone had cancer

And you never found out

Of course, it’s not something to advertise

But talking about it reduces the stigma

And increases awareness for others as well 

So, I’m a cancer survivor 

Healed and happy to live life as before

But perhaps it won’t be exactly as before

The scars will fade but won’t go away

And the checkups will continue regularly

But that’s a good thing

Like anything else in life 

Our experiences can be bearers of gifts

Depending on how we view them

And I’m grateful to be on the path of healing

With the support of my friends and family

August 19th, 2021



We are considered weak by some

Defective, strange and to be avoided by others 

It looks like we don’t try hard enough and

Don’t have the determination to beat our condition


Whereas to not give up hope 

During the dark days of depression 

Requires a herculean effort 

As well as the support of family and friends


To get up each day knowing that a struggle is ahead 

And march on anyway

To endure the pain of depression 

A pain that cuts deep


To reach out to others

When all we want to do is isolate ourselves further

To pursue treatment that is not one size fits all

And to smile from time to time

And carry on with our responsibilities and obligations 


These are qualities of a courageous, patient and determined person 

Who doesn’t give up despite the challenges she faces

For days and sometimes months on end


So please don’t think we are weak

Have compassion for us

And be part of the group of people

Who help reduce the stigma 


December 15th, 2019

Why talk about it?

Why talk about it?
Because it needs to be talked about!
Why talk about it?
Because I feel I can!
Why talk about it?
Because many don’t, or can’t

Why talk about it?
To break the code of silence
That keeps us quiet
And keeps us in the dark!

Why talk about it?
Because it’s time
I feel ready now!

Why talk about it?
Because there are too many
Misconceptions out there

Why talk about it?
To give a voice to people
Who suffer needlessly

Why talk about it?
Because it needs to be done!

Why talk about it?
To give hope!

Why talk about it?
To celebrate victory!

Why talk about it?
Because it needs to be done!

Lida Berghuis
September 20th, 2014

The D-bomb

People drop the F-bomb
much more often than
the D-bomb!
Don’t you think?

Why is depression
This ten letter word
Treated with more disdain
More suspicion
More stigma
Than four letter words?

Could it be that because like the
C-word, cancer
We associate it with
A dark and dreary condition
That often doesn’t have a cure?
And even that is changing

Is it because
Depression conjures up
Images of crying for days on end?
Being in bed for
Hours at a time?
Images of hopelessness
And all the things we’d rather
Not think about?

It is because se associate
Depression with a weak will
A defect of some kind?

Is it because we call it
A mental illness
And that conjures up
Images of patients in a
Psychiatric ward
Dulled by medication
Isolated and unwanted
By the rest of us?

I think it’s all of the above
And some more

Perhaps it’s because once someone
Conquers depression and feels good
They rarely talk about it
And share their victory

Perhaps it’s because
We don’t hear the stories
Of beating the blues and the
Transformational changes that
Can occur while dealing
With the challenges it brings

Perhaps it’s because
It takes courage
To share
To be one of the first few
Who brake the silence
Drop the veil
And let others know
That depression
Is as treatable as any other thing
It’s not one’s fault
Not a sign of weakness
Not a terminal illness
Nor a tunnel of darkness
Without end

The conversation
Is starting though
And I’m happy to add my voice
To those who have seen the darkness
And made their way to the light

Lida Berghuis
April 15th, 2012

Code of silence

Why this code of silence?
What do we fear?

Why such stigma?
Where do we go from here?

Why does a word like depression
Scare us so?

Why do we feel ashamed
Powerless or both?

Why do we feel as if
It’s all our fault?

Why so many misconceptions
Enough is enough!

Depression has a cause
Like other diseases do

It also can be treated
If attended to

It’s not this strange, enigmatic affair
One is not doomed to years of despair

It can be debilitating no doubt
The danger comes from doing nothing at all

The first step is to break the code of silence
To change our understanding of what we call mental illness

Perhaps we need some new terminology
Something less outdated and scary

We need to talk
We need to understand

Knowledge is power
Let’s stop burying our heads in the sand!

Lida Berghuis
January 22nd, 2012