What Are The Negative Effects Of Public Perception And Self-Perception Of Mental Illness?

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The Effects of Mental Illness Stigmas As I began exploring sources, it became clear that research concerning the stigmas involved with mental illness is a relatively new topic of exploration, just being analyzed in the last two decades or so. Despite this time span, much of the research I encountered provided similar feedback: the main theme throughout research being that the stigmas attached to those with mental illness have negative effects on those suffering from said illnesses. The stigmas are present throughout multiple aspects of life, adversely affecting those with mental illness through media, social circles, job discrimination, healthcare, criminal justice, and other structural barriers. Unfortunately, the stigmas involved with…show more content…
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…show more content…
Furthermore, Mizock, Russinova, and Millner cite Shad et al. when stating that, “like acceptance, awareness of symptoms has been identified as an important contributor to symptom management” (98). However, if one is ashamed to admit their illness, they may also ignore their symptoms. As a result of this self-stigma, patients are unable to fully accept themselves and therefore unable to recover. Note that self-stigma was the result of public stigma to begin with, meaning that the general public’s misguided ideas about mental illness are harming those trying to recover, regardless of the public’s direct or indirect actions.
The lack of quality healthcare and opportunities for recovery are far from the only significant disadvantages of mental illness stigmas. In 1996, the Mac Arthur Mental Health module administered a study and found that “more than a half of respondents are unwilling to: spend an evening socializing, work next to, or have a family member marry a person with mental illness” (Corrigan and Watson 17). This study makes clear just how isolating living with mental illness can be, especially when public stigmas manifest into
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