Stigmas Of Mental Illness In Healthcare

Topics: Mental health, Mental disorder, Medicine Pages: 6 (1242 words) Published: March 12, 2015

Stigmas Of Mental Illness In Healthcare

Stigmatization is the mark of disgrace that sets someone apart from the others. A person is said to be stigmatized when they are labeled according to their illness. Negative attitude towards the person suffering from that disease is what creates prejudice and later results in discrimination (Corrigon, 2004). Mental illness is one the illnesses where people suffering from them are discriminated. Most people have associated mental illnesses with violence, and that is why most people avoid mental health patients. Mental illness has wide reaching effects on people’s lives especially on education, employment, physical health and even relationships. Many of these medical health interventions are available, but people do not seek out the care they need because they are stigmatized (Corrigon, 2004). Mental health is essential because one’s success in life all depends on their mental health.Most mentally ill patients rarely seek medical intervention because they get all sorts of stigma. Even those who start with their medical treatment do not finish his process because of what they will have gone through. Stigma is one of the many factors that influence care-seeking when it comes to mental health, and it has many lasting effects on those who suffer. The discrimination and the prejudice of mental illnesses have disabling effects just as the disease itself. This stigmatization undermines people from attaining their personal goals while at the same time dissuading them from pursuing their treatment (Corrigon, 2004). A person working in the mental health department cannot function for long before encountering the hardships that come with stigmatization. Most people avoid mental health institutions to prevent the label of mental illness and the harm it brings to those around. This stigmatization kills their self-esteem and robs them off social opportunities. Forms of mental health stigmatization

Mental health patients deal with two types of stigmas. These are social stigma and self or perceived stigma. Mental health patients experience social stigma from receiving prejudicial attitudes and discriminating behavior from the society as a result of a psychiatric label that they have been given. Most people as it had been noted earlier believe that all mental patients are dangerous and violent. Others believe that some mental illnesses like substance abuse and eating disorders are self-inflicted. Another misconception that people have about mental patients is that they are hard to talk to. People will have these beliefs regardless of their age, what they know about mental disorders, or even the fact that they may know somebody who has such a problem (Graham and Davey, 2013). Public or social stigma robs people of their opportunities that might have helped them to excel in their lives. Mental health patients are frequently unable to get enough jobs or suitable houses because of the discrimination that comes from their mental health. Sometimes the police criminalize mental patients when they respond to mental health crises without waiting for mental health doctors’ report (Graham and Davey, 2013). This response from the police has seen many mental patients ending up in jail while on the contrary they should have ended up in mental institutions. Persons with mental illness disorders are more likely to be arrested by the police as compared to normal people. Perceived or self-stigma is the internationalization the mental health patient has towards himself. This stigma is characterized by self-pity and self-doubt. These patients feel like they are not good enough in whatever they do which may lead to poorer results during the treatment sessions(Graham and Davey, 2013). Such feelings of self-doubt and self-pity prevent them from excelling in schools, their jobs and even looking for better employment. This is very dangerous because some may end up harming...

References: Corrigon P. (2004) How Stigma Interferes With Mental Healthcare. American psychologist association journal. Vol 59, no. 7, 614-615
Graham, C.L and Davey Ph.D. Mental Health and Stigma. Psychology Today. August 20th 2013. Retrieved on 12th February 2105 from
Knapp, M. (2007). Mental health policy and practice across Europe: The future direction of mental health care. Maidenhead, Berkshire: Open University Press.
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