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.
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.
Delgado and Stefancic (2001) describe Intersectionality as multiple identities that oppress individuals that feature undesirable traits depicted in society. As a result, many people of color, features of disability and women may be diagnosed with mental health disorders due to multiple stressors in society. Hence, marginalized groups that are perceived as less desirable are likely to be diagnosed with mental health illnesses, because of their status and position in society. The mental health stigma is a form of social control, as mental health diagnosis is labeled from the dominant society’s beliefs and ideas. Furthermore, mental health diagnosis causes stigmas, and produces the inability for people to become resilient from the labels that have been created by the dominant society.
In addition, Davey finds fault with the media in stereotyping the mental health sufferers. The media falsely portraits the behaviors of the characters with mental health problems, often as a threat to the social and to themselves, which has “[reinforced] biased beliefs and stigmatizing attitude towards people with mental health problem” (Davey). The image that we see on media does not fully reflects the true personality of the mental health sufferers. Hence, Davey reasonably proves that the confusing sources such as the medical model and the media result in the mental health
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 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.
However, when members of today’s society find out that they suffer from a mental illness such as depression, anxiety, or schizophrenia, they are automatically labeled as mentally unstable and untrustworthy in regards to safety, money, and loved ones (Sanz). This stigma on the mentally ill causes a lack of proper health care from the medical profession, discrimination, difficulty with employment, and criminalization. Depression, for example, is a prevalent mental illness that affects American adults. Accord... ... middle of paper ... ...oximately twenty percent are veterans. Discrimination, employment issues, criminalization, and the lack of proper health care are just a few of the main issues that result from the mental health stigma.
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.
Many times this leads to worsening health issues and serious withdrawal from friends and family, leaving the person all alone, outcast from civilization. There are many different opinions on what the root cause surrounding the stigmatization of mental health actually is; this paper takes the view that the greatest contributor to negative mental health branding is mainstream media and education. Although mental health is a large, even global scale issue I am going to be focusing on three different articles in particular. The first, written by Crisp et al (2000) titled “Stigmatization of people with mental illness” identifies their three greatest ill perceived mental illnesses as schizophrenia, alcoholism, and drug addiction. They stated that people who experience one of these ‘big three’ are generally perceived as dangerous and unpredictable making them stand out more in society.
These social stigmas increase the fear and shame in people who may be dealing with mental illness and soon develop into self stigmas such as: “I’m crazy” and “I can’t be helped.” Behaviors such as these reinforce the negative stereotypes that bombard society. Gaining an understanding of why there is a stigma, how inaccurate stereotypes are debilitating to the function of those with mental illnesses, and how recognizing social and self-stigma surrounding mental illness will be the first steps to eradicate this problem. People with mental disorders or illnesses are far more likely to be victims than perpetrators of crimes. However in newspapers and during media coverage violent criminals are often labeled psychos, maniacs, or schizophrenics. Media, television, and music often dramatize and portray people with mental illnesses inaccurately (Polatis.)