Mental Stigma Essay

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People with a mental illness are often feared and rejected by society. This occurs because of the stigma of mental illness. The stigma of mental illness causes the perception of individuals with mental illnesses to be viewed as being dangerous and insane. They are viewed and treated in a negative way. They are almost seen as being less of a human. The stigma affects the individual with a mental illness in such a cruel way. The individual cannot even seek help without the fear of being stigmatized by their loved ones or the general public. The stigma even leads to some individuals developing self-stigma. This means having a negative perception of one’s self, such as viewing one’s self as being dangerous. The worst part is that the effects of…show more content…
The stigma is created by the lack of knowledge, narrow-minded attitudes, and the acts of judgment against people who have a mental illness. The stigma results in extensive consequences for the individuals being affected. The stigma ends up becoming worse than the mental illness itself because it prevents individuals from seeking help during the early stages of the mental illness. There is even a vast availability of mental-health treatments that are effective, yet the majority of people experiencing problems related to mental-health does not seek help. 28% of the adult population of the United States have a diagnosable mental condition and only 8% seek treatment. These statistics help prove that stigma is one of the main reasons for individuals not willing to seek help. The individual fears being stigmatized. They fear being rejected by their loved ones and the general public. They do not want to be devalued. The way that individuals with mental illnesses are called “the mentally ill” in the media just makes the stigma even worse. This makes the person feel defined solely by their disability, which is inhumane. The person begins to feel less of a human being. In the media, they are viewed as being dangerous and violent, which results with inhumanity towards the individual. This just increases the negative stereotypes towards individuals with a mental…show more content…
Self-stigma refers to the extent of self-concurrence with negative stereotypes of mental illness and to the extent to which these self-stigmatizing thoughts emerge habitually in everyday life. Self-stigma can occur at an unconscious, uncontrollable, unintentional, or efficient way. An unconscious way, is when an individual is having self-stigmatizing thoughts without being aware. An efficient way, is when an individual uses minimal attention to have self-stigmatizing thoughts. An unintentional way, is when the individual has no need for having self-stigmatizing thoughts but still has them. Lastly, an uncontrollable way is when the individual has a difficult time trying to get rid of the self-stigmatizing thoughts. If an individual cannot cope well with their self-stigma then it leads to even more frequent self-stigmatizing thoughts. This can lead to the self-stigmatizing thoughts to become a mental habit. This means that the self-stigmatizing thoughts become more repetitive and automatic. Not only can self-stigmatizing thoughts become a mental habit, but it can also result with label avoidance. Label avoidance has to do with the unwillingness to experience these stigmatizing thoughts and purposely trying to avoid them. However, label avoidance can actually make the self-stigma even worse. Label avoidance can actually increase the frequency of the thoughts. This can eventually lead to habitual
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