Words describing mental health can stigmatize. That’s painful and dehumanizing.

And, after all these years, I now understand that I am not “abnormal.” To that point, years ago, my mother, a social worker who suffered from chronic depression, told me one afternoon at the beach, “I’m so happy that everyone in the family is in treatment,” an acknowledgment that we all suffered from anxiety or depression. My mom, who died four years ago, surely would have agreed with the experts today who say that openly talking about mental health can break down the stigma associated with different conditions.

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