Honors Program


Date of this Version


Document Type



Knudson, B. 2019. Commonground: A Collection of Short Stories to Explore the Universality of Neuroses. Undergraduate Honors Thesis. University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


Copyright Brianna Knudson 2019.


The stigmatization of mental health is all too prevalent. A 2000 study surveyed 1700 participants and found several common stigmatizing attitudes toward individuals with psychological or mental health conditions, the most common being that individuals with such afflictions are dangerous. Another perception was that mental health conditions are self-inflicted, while another was that it is difficult to talk to individuals with mental health conditions (Crisp, Gelder & Rix, 2000). Several similar studies have been conducted since this 2000 study, and each has produced similar findings (Reavley & Jorm, 2011). Unwarranted assumptions about individuals with psychological disorders, such as those listed above, have negative consequences. According to a 2010 study, 62% of individuals surveyed experienced friendship loss or social rejection because of stigmatization due to their mental health condition, and 46% experienced under-estimation from parents or teachers. The study also found that medical professionals are taught to not prioritize mental health conditions (Moses, 2010). When determining the topic of my thesis, I knew I wanted to create a collection of short stories centered on the topic of mental health, both because of my passion for decreasing mental health stigmatization and because of my love of writing. Through this thesis, my goal is to bring light to the universality of mental health and to humanize neurological conditions.