Stigma (a poem for World Mental Health Day)

by PookyH

Why do you always stop and stare?

Is it because I’m ‘not all there’?

Do you think I’m a freak?

Or a nut?

Or a loon?

That I’ll howl like a wolf when it’s next a full moon?

You try to avoid me.

You think that I’m dangerous.

Do you think that the illness I have is contagious?

When you see me approach you cross over the street.

And as I pass by you, you study your feet…

Scared that to look me

Right in the eye,

Will lead to your end,

And that slowly you’ll die;

Riddled with illness

And strangeness

And pain.

But believe me,

My illness is the cause of less pain

Than your response to my illness


And again.

Poor mental health is a killer,

It’s true.

But some of it’s down to your actions.



Don’t look away,

And don’t stop and stare.

Instead treat me normally,


If you dare.

I’m really just like you,

In need of a friend.

Stop staring,

Start listening

And help my pain end.


8 Comments to “Stigma (a poem for World Mental Health Day)”

  1. A very good poem and true to the point.

    I work at times in a home with people who have mental problems, and you could not meet lovely people. A few won’t talk to you, thats fine but i got used to that.

  2. I know about mental illness personally, and some of my neighbors are sorely afflicted. I bonded closely with one young man who wandered off, and I was in a state, worrying for him; happy ending–he was located and will be placed in a more structured environment, but I do miss him terribly. My experience is that it’s the “normal appearing/presenting” folks who are truly scary–they think they’re fine, and are clueless about their inappropriate behaviors when they breach your boundaries.

  3. Wonderful poem for awareness of this illness. I have been there 😊 xx

  4. Took me back to my past when I went through it. Thanks for this meaningful poem.

    • It’s a horrible thing to go through, though I think if you make it out the other side it makes you stronger and better able to support and understand those around you.

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