We can stop the stigma of mental illness and help others recover. Simply learn the truth about these illnesses and your mind will change.
I have schizophrenia and have lived most of my life with stigma from other people. We lose so much when we become ill it's a shame. Most importantly we lose our place in society and among those we know and care about. I lived in a psychological prison for so long and society put and kept the bars up. Now I have a take me or leave me attitude but it took over twenty years to lose the self stigma I developed because of the way I was thought of. That hasn't changed but I have, it no longer bothers me what people think, I know I am a good person. I simply had some extra hurdles to overcome in life that the rest of you didn't and I overcame them. I am well employed, own my own home, support my mother who lives with me and teach doctors, residents and the mentally ill how to recover. We are never free of the illnesses we have but we can and do manage them. It is society that needs to change and not us, we can only do so much to get better. Society needs an education on what these illnesses are really about, not what the TV has shown you. I have never been violent, lived on the streets, pushed a shopping cart or any of the other stereotypes you talk about. I lead a normal life with normal interests and manage my symptoms very well, if I didn't tell someone they would never know. I tell people to break down the stigma and show people what we are really like and not what they think we are like.