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One Sorry Day

“Ouch!” then “oh, sorry,” I say as something lands heavy on my thigh, then suddenly airborne a centimetre or two before plopping back down on my seat again. Turning my head toward the event unfolding, a woman, swallowed in grocery bags, has planted herself beside me. I reach below to soothe my aching thigh and notice the bag that hit me. Inside were two large cans of Libby’s beans and still partly occupying my space in a feat of imperialistic arrogance. I give the bag a rebellious shove off my lap, toward its empress. I hold my gaze on her, a look that insists she apologize for the damage she just caused. No such luck! She does not even acknowledge my existence, never mind, apologize! I begin to stew as the throbbing pain intensifies from the epicentre of the attack. That’ll leave a Rorschach of a bruise, I tell myself. I am angry. “Why did I apologize? She’s the one who slammed into me!”. Now humiliation is added to my anger. I feel small, powerless. These emotions are what wars are made from. “Do I have a sign on my forehead that says ignore me?… I’m sick of letting others

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Chains That Bind: How Stigma Plays a Role in Recovery from Psychotic Illness in African & Caribbean Communities

In this article I repeat the  terminology used in the research papers, African American, African decent and Caribbean decent.  I kept the terminology the same as to ensue accurate reporting of the findings in the studies. I apologize in advance if using such terminology is offensive to anyone and I welcome any constructive feedback. Some time ago, while working on an inpatient schizophrenia unit, a fellow social worker turned to me and said: “There are more black patients than white and they’re so sick and taking much longer to recover.” My initial thought was: ‘he’s mistaken; the numbers will eventually even themselves out’. However, his comment haunted me. My colleague was not one to embellish or make ad hoc comments. In fact, he is known for having in-depth knowledge of global affairs and is closely tied to his African community. Hence, I started to take notice and investigate to see howmuch weight (if any) there was to his observation and if so, why. Many people diagnosed with a psychotic disorder walk among us, work beside us, are our friends and neighbours and are living meaningfulproductive lives. It must be noted that the patients described in this article are individuals receiving

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