Dignity is an inherent sense of value and worth that I believe is a building block of self-esteem. We all need to be given acknowledgment of our worth and be given the ability to make choices so that we feel respected. This is important to make us feel our life is worthwhile. My daughter explained to me one day that she was tired of people looking down at her and treating her as though she was stupid. She felt that her dignity was being stripped from her. All she wanted was for people to acknowledge her as a valued human being and listen to her instead of just telling her what to do. She wanted to let people know that just because she has a mental illness it does not mean she is mentally deficient or retarded.