The Stigma Of Mental Illness

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For many sufferers, living with the stigma of mental illness is an everyday external and internal battle. Precisely, the factors such as: discrimination, social rejection and humiliation are only few of the issues experienced by the consumers (Horsfall, Cleary & Hunt, 2010). As a result, many sufferers lose their self-esteem and begin to exclude themselves from social settings, that consequently make the road to recovery more complicated (Cruwys & Gunaseelan, 2015). Some strategies that could combat these issues include consumer-led training, nurse-led training and further research into improving sufferer’s self-image.

For example, the general life experiences of the consumers play a main role in the individuals’ decision making abilities, but when subjected to challenges these abilites might be positively or negatively affected. Glover, Corrigan, and Wilkniss (2010) explained how discrimination, when experienced by the consumer in the workplace, affects their decision whether to look for employment or not in the future. However, the findings were different based on gender and race. Also, the devastating effects of the stigmatisation of mental illness can have impact on marriage union in various cultural, religious or ethnic groups. According to Youssef and Deane (2006) Arabic people recognised that they are embarrassed to take advantage of the available mental health services, because of the stigma and in order to preserve their dignity. Furthermore, in the Arabic community, if a person has mental illness, they are unlikely to get married. Or, when marriage occurs, if a partner (generally the wife) is hiding her mental illness, the husband can exercise his right to seek divorce. Therefore, the decision to use the available servi...

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...ement in their own care and searching for coping strategies. (Gliddon et al., 2015) investigated the advantages of on an online psychotherapeutic program in the form of discussion board and found its potential as a positive method to minimise the effects of stigma.

Strategies with similar goals are being implemented around the country by different organisations such as school and the police, among health professionals and in various environments such as rural, regional or city based. However, the consumers’ are still facing the stigma and its effects on their lives. Positively, the constant activity of anti-stigma promotions is improving the trend of understanding in our society. But more optimistic it is the fact that alongside it, researchers analyse and evaluate these approaches regularly in order to gain a further understanding of how to best reduce the stigma.
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