How Clinical Diagnosis Might Exacerbate the Stigma of Mental Illness

Topics: Sociology, Psychology, Mental disorder Pages: 3 (993 words) Published: November 19, 2012
Jennifer Tozier
Compentency Assignment 1, Review #2
Dr. Besthorn
I chose to write my article review on the article entitled, “How clinical Diagnosis Might Exacerbate the Stigma of Mental Illness.” It is a not new concept that people are consistently drawn to a labeling others with a stigma, and this article delves into how we as social workers can (unintentionally) either encourage that stigma or hinder it based on the presentation to the client and to the public. A key point to the article talks about three kinds of potential ways stigma hurts a client. The first was being label avoidance. Many people do not want to admit to a mental illness, let alone get it treated because of how they might be perceived. Those that can admit having a mental illness and seek services may feel a certain stigma that then draws them back, and they avoid treating the problem, after they have confirmed that they, in fact, do suffer from the illness. They are afraid of being labeled in society or among their peers. The second stigma is blocked life goals. When suffering from a mental illness, everyday life can be and often is hard for the client. Without treatment, the stress of daily life can inhibit the client from seeking opportunities such as work, school, family and friends. Without these life goals being fulfilled, the mental illness takes control of the clients’ life and they are fixed from advancing in the everyday life. The third way a stigma hurts a client is the self-stigma. This is where the client begins to believe what is being said about them and their problem. It further exacerbates the problem because they not only deal with the issue of mental illness but feel judged in every encounter; this changes their behavior and creates a greater issue. This article also discusses the diagnosis of a mental illness in regards to “groupness” and the “differentness” aspects of how the public distinguishes people with mental issues. This looks into the stereotypes...
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