“Stigma can be harmful to a person’s mental health improvement. Its effects are damaging and costly, both to the community and to the sufferer”. Discuss these statements in the light of the effects of stigmatization and how it can be lessened in the society.
To stigmatize is “to characterize or brand as disgraceful.” (Farlex, 2011) Stigma can have a great effect on a person, especially to one who is seen as ‘different’ to the community. One who is suffering from a mental illness is going through enough trouble in their life and does not need to be tortured by the community. Social stigma takes place amongst nearly all communities. It occurs when one or more of a group are shunned as ‘outsiders’ for being ‘different’. Examples of being different can include a mental disorder, a physical deformity, or even the colour of one’s skin. Those who are stigmatized feel immediately shunned and rejected from the group, and in the case of a mental health patient, this can be very demeaning and can break one’s self-esteem even more. Not only does it affect the sufferer but it also damages the community. The community is not seen as a welcoming place and is given a bad name and bad reputation amongst broader communities. Stigma can be lessened, or even stopped. It all comes down to people power, and people doing the right things to the ‘outsiders’ amongst groups and including all people no matter how ‘different’ they might be.
Mental health patients are fighting an uphill battle from the very start of their treatment. To fight a mental battle would be an unimaginable challenge, one which can take years still with no prevail. Stigma is one thing that can break down this treatment. A patient who is working their absolute very hardest to overcome their mental illness does not to be stigmatized by the outside community. The last thing a recovering mental health patient needs is stigma. The effects of stigma can be life threatening. For example, one with an issue such as...
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