Well, stigma is defined as: “a mark of disgrace associated with certain circumstances.” stigma is most notable for people going through mental health issues, like anxiety, depression and ADHD, among other disorders. The stigma associated with mental health is affecting societies and communities in negative ways and should be actively combated by governments, NGO’s, and people. However, this issue is controversial, as many skeptics claim that mental disorders do not exist. However, they have been proven wrong. Stigma is a barrier for treatment and is harmful to society, as well as being a sign of a toxic community.
The stigmatizers cause negative attitudes which an individual directs inward as a form of coping, this in the end has an effect on their overall recovery (Vertilo & Gibson, 2014, p.267a). Not only does the stigma affect treatment but it also affects their lives in other ways. Vertilo and Gibson (2014) explain how “the label of mental illness discredits ones social identity by reducing the individual’s status and prevents the individual from obtaining jobs or housing and excludes many from aspects of social life” (p.266). The two most common stigmas perceive those with illnesses as dangerous and responsible for having said illness. Due to these assumptions, those facing illness tend to become socially withdrawn, have loss of productivity and lowered self-esteem.
Public stigma, encompassing multiple stigmatizing attitudes towards those with mental illness, is often presented in three forms throughout the media, “people with mental illness are homicidal maniacs who need to be feared; they have childlike perceptions of the world that should be marveled; or they are responsible for their illness because they have weak character” (Corrigan and Watson 17). Noticeably, none of these attitudes are beneficial for persons with serious mental illness. These attitudes alter the way people with mental illness are treated by the public—which will be explored further on—and they also alter the way people with mental illness see
The term stigma, from a historical perspective, referred to a mark made on an individual to brand them as having an undesirable moral character (Darity, 2008). Goffman, (1963) introduced the term stigma into psychological literature. He did so to reflect an attribute of character to indicate that an individual was tainted or devalued by society(Byrne,2000). Stigma associated with mental illness, remains a powerful negative attribute in all social relations. Public stigma is defined as the degree to which the general public holds negative views and discriminates against a specific group (Pedersen & Paves, 2014).
The mental health stigma has become a prevalent issue in the world of medical care. It can prevent people from receiving proper medical care and the quality of care people may receive. Stigma is defined as members of groups who violate the norms established by the dominant or privileged group and, as such, are marked as deviant (Jr. and Kite). Stigma can also lead to discrimination. The way we can try and diminish the severity of the stigma is to create transparency and openness about mental illness.
This article puts into perspective how those who are mentally ill lose their quality of life by becoming stigmatized by those surrounding them personally and in a broader sense. Their jobs, housing, health care, and affiliation with others is negatively impacted because of the stigma placed upon them because of their mental illness. This article continues to describe the stigmas that are placed upon the mentally ill by our Western culture. The authors state that mentally ill persons deal with being feared and excluded because of their mental state. They also deal with being viewed as irresponsible because of their mental diagnosis.
What is a stigma of mental illnesses and why does it exist in our society? A stigma of mental illnesses is described as discrimination against people with mental health problems. A stigma is what sets a person apart from everybody else. It creates negative feelings and stereotypes about a mental illness that leads to being prejudice. Mental illnesses are common today and the stigmas that follow behind it.
This negativity brings for many the barriers of not only facing the illness itself but also the barrier of stigma and discrimination this ultimately delays or impairs recovery (El-Badri & Mellsop, 2007). Grayson (2004) states that "If one looks back over the history of how mental illness was regarded in various societies and ages, the only consistent threads that weave through the fabric of the centuries are the isolation and stigmatization of the mentally ill" (p.6). This paper will discus mental illness stigma and discrimination and its impact on individuals who experience mental illness, their families/whanau and society. This essay will also evaluate what is being done currently to reduce discrimination at macro and micro levels. Stigma and discrimination impact on individual For a person diagnosed with a mental illness one of the biggest barriers to recovery is discrimination, it can have a huge impact on how a person views themselves, recovery can be slower and much harder to achieve (MOH, 2005).
About Mental Illness: The relationship between Empathy and Stigma in connection to reliance in Just World Beliefs and Symptom Severity Mental illness is a subject that continues to arise stigmatizing attitudes of the people because of the little knowledge and control there is over it (Rusch, Angermeyer and Corrigan, 2005). Kristal (1981) affirms that the definition of the concept of mental illness is still debatable as there are various approaches to its causes. He defines it as different conduct patterns that prevent the individual from properly adapting to the demands of everyday life and social interactions. Matsumoto (2009) stresses that mentally ill people are likely to show abnormal conduct, cognitive and emotional functioning. Kristal (1981) also makes a distinction between the psychological point of view in which mental illness is seen as ‘a disease of the mind’ (connected to social maladjustment and unresolved childhood conflicts) and the psychiatrical point of view, where it is seen as ‘a disease of the brain’ (referring strictly to physical malfunctions, point which is sustained by Corrigan and Watson (2004).
These views lead to disagreements about the causes, diagnosis, and the treatment of the disorders. Many people with mental problems are discriminated against because of their mental disorder. Mental illness and stigma refers to the view of the person with mental illness as having undesirable traits. Stigma leads to negative behavior, stereotyping, and discriminatory behavior towards the person with mental health issues. This stigma causes the affected person to experience denial or shame of their condition.