According to, the definition of stigma is “a mark of disgrace or infamy; a stain or reproach, as on one’s reputation.” The medical definition the site provides goes on to say, “a mental or physical mark that is characteristic of a defect or disease.” 

You may have heard phrases such as “the stigma of mental health” or “the stigma of addiction.” But hearing those phrases doesn’t bring a true understanding of what stigma is or how damaging it can be.