The Stigma Of A Mental Disorder Essay

The Stigma Of A Mental Disorder Essay

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A mental disorder is a syndrome characterized by clinically significant disturbance in an individual’s cognition, emotion regulation, or behavior that reflects a dysfunction in the psychological, biological, or development processes underlying mental functioning (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). This is a new definition found in the DSM-V previously updated from the DSM-IV, and many people would argue that if a definition can easily be changed, can the issues in the real world be easily changed as well? Do these disorders even exist? Are they that important? This is how a stigma arises, from an ignorant personal belief and attaching it to something completely real. Personal stigmas sometimes arise from an overall stigma, like a belief from a society in general, and it can be the reason to why an illness or disorder is not taken seriously. Mental illness stigma affects individuals with psychiatric conditions, and if not treated with medication, psychotherapy, or counseling, it can contribute to serious mental issues and poor well-being. A stigma on a mental illness can affect a person’s over all mental health and self concept.
A stigma is a strong feeling of disapproval or misunderstanding that most people in a society have about something (Perez, Molero, & Bos, 2015). Nowadays everything has a stigma attached to it, being a college student, divorce, drugs, and there is even stigma on groups of people. A stigma on a mental illness though is a bigger issue because that can in turn lead to an illness becoming worse, as well as a decline in a person’s well being. Between the ages of 14-25, is when a mental illness is more likely to emerge (Wang, Peng, Li, & Peng, 2015). There are a handful of mental illnesses in pres...


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... caused by poor knowledge. Not knowing what something is or why it happens can lead to discriminatory or hurtful comments towards an individual. Being uninformed about illnesses/disorders can lead to ignorant comments to an individual which in turn can affect their well being. It can come in the form of negative comments. Usually this misinformation can come from friends, family and acquaintances which can explain why a huge percentage of the time people with mental illness do not tell friends or family about their condition. Wolpert (2001) suffered from serious depression, and required medication and therapy to recover. When he came back from psychiatric hospital he found out his wife did not tell anyone about his condition, because she felt embarrassed and thought that everyone knowing would taint his career. It was the first time he experienced stigma and found it

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